Dr. Crandall says when it comes to losing weight, it’s not just what you eat, but also when you eat it that can make a difference on the scale, according to a new study.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel set out to find out how time of day affects the way in which food is metabolized. They randomly assigned 93 obese women to one of two groups, each of which consumed meals totaling 1,400 calories daily for a period of 12 weeks.
The first group consumed 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 200 at dinner. The second group ate a 200-calorie breakfast, a 500-calorie lunch, and a 700-calorie dinner. The 700-calorie breakfast and dinner included the same foods.
By the end of the study, participants in the “big breakfast” group had lost an average of 17.8 pounds each and three inches off their waistlines, compared to 7.3-pound and 1.4-inch losses for the “big dinner” group. The big breakfast group also showed a more significant decrease in insulin, glucose, and triglyceride levels than those in the big dinner group. More importantly, they did not experience the spikes in blood glucose levels that typically occur after a meal. Persistent peaks in blood sugar levels can lead to high blood pressure and future risk of heart disease.
On the other hand, those who ate the large dinner, even if they lost weight, still had higher triglyceride levels, which are detrimental to heart health. This study underscores the idea that if you want to lose weight, you should adopt a well-planned diet that focus on proper nutrition, as well as exercise, and also put an end to late-day snacking.