649848 tn?1534633700

When You Eat Breakfast and Dinner Could Affect Your Levels of Body Fat

" Waiting ninety minutes for a brunch table is annoying, but a report in the Journal of Nutritional Science indicates that doing so has the potential to be a promising weight loss technique. Moving back breakfast and dinner time, they show, can have profound effects on the way your body processes meals, akin to the effects of intermittent fasting. Research like this, the authors say, sheds light on new ways of effective dieting. It turns out that what you eat is deeply intertwined with when you eat it.

For the 2018 study, published online in the Journal of Nutritional Science, a team of professors from the University of Surrey’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences show that you don’t have to become a disciple of the intermittent fasting dogma to reap the benefits of what they call “time restricted feeding” (TRF).

The team asked ten individuals to delay breakfast by 90 minutes and eat dinner 90 minutes earlier than usual. Results revealed that all those who were able to stick to the schedule reduced their overall body fat by the end of the ten weeks by an average of 1.9 percent.

“This was corroborated by questionnaire responses with 57% of participants noting a reduction in food intake either due to reduced appetite, reduced duration of eating opportunities and/or reduced snacking (particularly in the evening),” the authors wrote.

This results were enough to establish a trend, but not enough to illuminate exactly why body fat decreased. The authors note that it could just be a matter of eating less — the authors describe a “shortened TRF window” — so people had roughly four fewer hours of the day available for snacking when they adhered to the protocol.

An alternative explanation, based on Johnston’s previous research, published in Advances in Nutrition, suggests that the body burns through food at a faster metabolic rate earlier in the day. “One purported mechanism for the health benefits of TRF is that a higher percentage of energy is consumed during a restricted phase of the endogenous circadian cycle,” the team notes in the current study. This means that the time of the day when the individual ate may affect how the body metabolizes the meal.

In the previous study, Johnston and his team wrote that “diet-induced thermogenesis was approximately twice as large in the morning at 0800h compared with in the evening at 2000h,” suggesting that the body burns through food at a faster metabolic rate earlier in the day. Fluctuations in metabolism throughout the day have been a focus of previous research on the benefits of intermittent fasting.

This study does give us one more demonstrable insight into the potential benefits of meal-timing: how easy is it to integrate into life outside of a lab. Fifty seven percent of individuals admitted that they didn’t think they could continue these meal time changes past the end of ten weeks. They also rated the diet a seven out of ten on a scale of difficulty. Seeing as the authors described this group of volunteers as “well-motivated” to follow the diet, these results might not bode well for the rest of us.

“As we have seen with these participants, fasting diets are difficult to follow and may not always be compatible with family and social life,” Johnston said “We therefore need to make sure they are flexible and conducive to real life, as the potential benefits of such diets are clear to see.”

Regardless of how difficult the diet was to follow, the team emphasized that this was only a pilot study. Investigations with more participants and more rigorous designs will be needed to pin down the mechanisms behind these findings."

Emma Betuel is a writer based in NYC. Previously, she covered health and biology for WBUR’s Commonhealth blog and The Borgen Project Magazine.

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Avatar universal
Another problem with all studies like this is that participants know they are in a study of diet and so they change their eating habits because of the study, so often it might be showing in all these kinds of studies that the real factor is getting people to focus on their eating habits.  
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They said that the participants didn't think they could maintain the diet changes past the 10 weeks of the study, so yes, they know it's a study.  

I thought it was interesting that metabolism might be higher in the morning/earlier in the day.  If I could change my habits enough to stop eating in the evening, it might be interesting to try it.  Of course, it wouldn't fit in with "life" in my house, which was one of the problems noted.  

Considering the fact that they understand how difficult it is to follow fasting diets, perhaps, it will help scientists to come up with such a diet that really works... or is that something we should be working on ourselves?  :-)

I think, when it's all said and done, the "diet" of choice is going to be the one containing the most healthful foods, in reasonable quantities, along with exercise that will keep us from gaining weight in the first place... of course, that depends on having adequate hormones, etc to keep the body in balance.
I saw something very interesting.  I've wondered why obesity is so high in the US not so much in adults who get older and get lives that make movement hard the way we live nowadays but why so much in children?  One reason, although it didn't say how frequent this is, is the use of antibiotics in children leads to all sorts of lifetime problems, including weight problems.  The reason I comment so much on the articles on here isn't that I know them to be wrong or know what is right, but because so many factors are involved in weight gain that it's really hard to know what's behind it.  I've heard estimates recently that sound way too high to me that metabolic disorders affect most Americans.  I doubt that to be true, but I don't really know.  A lot of info we get is impossible to know.  For example, we hear about obesity rates in countries we can't actually get accurate info from about anything so how did they figure that out?  It's just a hard thing to get a handle on.  I grew up in the 1950s and 60s when at least in America eating went way south, we introduced tons of pollutants into everything, and food became anything you can put in your mouth and swallow and we were told all this stuff was actually good for us.  So I grew up eating meat at every meal, tons of sugar, and lots of "food" that isn't but none of us got fat on it.  Some did as adults, but even there, mostly it was women who were almost all housewives who stopped getting out as much as they did when they were young and gained weight bearing children and couldn't burn it off because they were expected to be home and didn't really have a lot of work to do at home anymore because of all the labor saving devices that became affordable.  But the men were still out working and work then still involved a lot of moving around and lifting etc.  So what I gathered from it all is movement is important.  What you eat is important, but more for health purposes and maybe not as much for weight.  I have never been able to see how "intermittent" fasting can help if all it does is compress the time between meals -- you're either hungry or stuffed, it seems.  It's all interesting but most of these "studies" aren't big enough or done well enough to tell us anything.  Because I fell into managing health food stores in order to save my local coop, I saw so many diets come and go and only a couple seemed to last.  I saw vegans who ate so poorly and thought they were eating well just because they didn't eat animal food.  Just saw a lot of bogus stuff which I believed a lot of until I didn't.  It's odd that we spend so much on research for some things but so little on what and how we eat.  Peace.
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