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Early Meal Times Can Help Weight Loss

Posted Jun 02 2014 7:00am

Eating Eating at proper times may affect weight loss success . Nothing new here, most people know that eating in the early hours is the best strategy for those trying to lose weight. A new study confirms that people who eat larger meals later in the day are likely to lose less weight than those who eat in the early hours of the day.

Study authors Marta Garaulet and Dr. Frank Scheer, director of the medical chronobiology program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, followed 420 people in Spain during a 20-week weight loss program . The participants were split into two groups: early eaters who ate lunch before 3 p.m. and late eaters who ate lunch after 3 p.m. In Spain, lunch is the biggest meal of the day, comprising about 40% of a person’s daily calories.

Published in the International Journal of Obesity, the study concluded that the early eaters, on average, lost 25% more weight than the late eaters over the course of the study, according to Scheer. Researchers looked at energy expenditure, dietary composition, appetite hormones and sleep duration. These factors were similar in both groups, leading the authors to conclude that the timing of the large meal was the source of the sluggish weight loss .

Researchers believe that the results are due to the body’s ability to handle glucose, the type of sugar that usually comes from carbohydrates. Late eaters in the study showed significantly higher HOMA levels, an index of insulin resistance that’s used to identify diabetes. Your system is better able to cope with higher glucose levels in the morning, extracting sugar from the blood to use as energy.

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