Do Meal Times Influence Weight and Curb Appetite?

Study suggests, eating earlier in the day helps prevent weight gain

Islamabad (26th July, 2019): Research suggests that eating earlier in the day helps in weight loss by curbing appetite. 

A research paper featured in the journal Obesity, describes a trial on how timing one’s meals can influence one’s metabolism. According to study authors:

Eating in sync with circadian rhythms by eating early in the daytime appears to reduce body weight and improve metabolic health.

The researchers continued to say that it is still unclear as to which mechanisms may be driving the “weight loss effects”. Thereby, the latest study indicates that the first trial will determine how meal timings can effect metabolism in a 24-hour period, and if the meal intake and meal frequency are matched. For this purpose, the researchers compared two groups of people who ate similar meals three times a day for 4 days at different times specified as the early time-restricted feeding (eTRF) and the control schedule.

For this,11 men and women completed the trial. Six people in the eTRF group and the remaining five in the control group. To qualify for the trial, they had to be in good health and carrying exes weight, preferably between the ages of 25 and 45 years. Based on data provided, the eTRF group would have breakfast at 8 in the morning with their last meal taken at 8 in the night. This would make their fasting period, between last meal of the day to first meal the next day, nearly 12 hours. Study authors speaking about the control schedule likened it to “the median reported breakfast and dinner times for American adults”.

Moreover, on the fourth day, the participants had to undergo tests in a respiratory chamber to measure their metabolism. This included calories burned, as well as the amount of fat, carbohydrates, and proteins burned.

As a result, the participants were rated in various aspects of appetite, such as hunger, the desire and the capacity to eat, fullness et cetera, by indicating their perception of the above measures on a visual sliding scale.

Samples of blood and urine were given by the participants twice in the day, morning and evening. Thereby, the research tea, was able to assess the level of hunger hormones in them. Additionally, the results showed that the burning of calories did not differ too much between the two participating groups, however, those in the eTRF had lower levels of the hunger hormones “ghrelin” with improvement in certain “facets of appetite”.

The findings further confirmed that the eTRF group burned more fat over a 24-hour period as compared to the controlled schedule. However, researchers have claimed that a more in-depth study is required to confirm if the strategies such eTRF are indeed helpful in shedding body fat.


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