Does the timing of your biggest meal affect weight loss?

Some of the most popular diet advice in recent years has centered on the idea that proper meal times can make a big difference in how much weight you lose.

According to this idea, if you want to lose weight, it is better to eat more abundantly at the beginning of the day, and smaller subsequent meals.

The logic of this theory is understandable, especially when you consider that almost every cell in the body follows the same 24-hour cycle that we do.

The body’s biological clock (or circadian clock) regulates the circadian rhythms of most of our biological functions, including metabolism.

Because of these metabolic rhythms, scientists have suggested that how we process food differs at different times of the day. This area of ​​research is called chrononutrition, and it has great potential to improve human health.

Two 2013 studies found that eating more calories early in the day and fewer calories in the evening helps people lose weight. However, a large new study found that while the relative size of breakfast and dinner portions affects self-reported appetite, it does not affect metabolism and weight loss.

To explore the relationship between breakfast and dinner size and its effect on hunger, a team of researchers from the University of Aberdeen and Surrey conducted a study on healthy but overweight people. Participants were given two diets, each for four weeks: a large breakfast and a small dinner, and a small breakfast with a large dinner. At the same time, lunch remains the same.

The researchers determined exactly how many calories the study participants were consuming. They then measured the participants’ metabolism, including tracking how many calories they burned.

All participants in the study followed both dietary conditions so that the effects of eating patterns on the same individuals could be compared.

“We expected a large breakfast and a small dinner to increase calorie burn and weight loss,” the researchers said. “Instead, the test results found no difference in body weight or any biological measure of energy use between the two eating styles.” “

Energy use metrics included basal metabolic rate (the number of calories your body uses at rest), physical activity, and chemical form water use, which provides an estimate of total daily energy intake.

There were also no differences in daily levels of glucose, insulin, or blood lipids. This is important because changes in these blood factors are associated with metabolic health.

Research shows that how our body metabolizes calories in the morning rather than the evening does not affect weight loss in the way other studies have reported.

In a recent study, the only difference was a change in self-reported feelings of hunger and related factors such as the amount of food they wanted to eat.

During the day, the eating pattern of a large breakfast and a small dinner made participants report less hunger throughout the day. This effect may be beneficial for people looking to lose weight as it can help them better control their hunger and eat less food.

As with all studies, the study had some limitations, including that it only lasted four weeks per meal.

Previous studies have shown the largest differences in the effects of early and late energy intake at four weeks. However, the fact that neither calories consumed nor calories burned over the course of four weeks showed that body weight was unlikely to change if the study went on longer.

Study participants were also allowed to choose the exact time of each meal. Despite this, the time difference in the structure of each meal was small.

Source: Medical Express