Time is of the essence for weight loss, new Spanish research

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 7th February 2013

A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity has concluded that timing of when meals are eaten plays a crucial role in the success of a weight loss program.

The study led by Professor Marta Garaulet from the University of Murcia Spain analysed 420 people who followed a 20-week weight-loss treatment, grouped as either “early lunch eaters” or “late lunch eaters.”

The study found that late lunch eaters lost less weight and displayed a slower weight-loss rate during the 20 weeks of treatment than early eaters.

Although energy intake, dietary composition, estimated energy expenditure, appetite hormones and sleep duration was similar between both groups – late eaters were classified as “evening types, had less energetic breakfasts and skipped breakfast more frequently than early eaters.”

The study also found that that the timing of smaller meals, not main meals, did not play a role in successful weight loss.

Professor Garaulet said that future weight loss programs should consider concentrating on timing in the weight loss process, not just food content.

“Eating late may influence the success of weight-loss therapy. Novel therapeutic strategies should incorporate not only the caloric intake and macronutrient distribution—as is classically done—but also the timing of food,” was a major conclusion of the study.

Timing plays a crucial role in the weight loss process according to new research.