Tim­ing is Ev­ery­thing

Wellness Update - - CLEVLAND CLINIC -

Most weight-loss plans center around a bal­ance be­tween caloric in­take and en­ergy ex­pen­di­ture. How­ever, new re­search has shed light on a new fac­tor that is nec­es­sary to shed pounds: tim­ing. Re­searchers from Brigham and Women’s Hos­pi­tal (BWH), in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Univer­sity of Mur­cia and Tufts Univer­sity, have found that it’s not sim­ply what you eat, but also when you eat, that may help with weight­loss reg­u­la­tion. The study will be pub­lished on Jan­uary 29, 2013 in the In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal of Obe­sity. “This is the first large-scale prospec­tive study to demon­strate that the tim­ing of meals pre­dicts weight­loss ef­fec­tive­ness,” said Frank Scheer, PhD, MSc, di­rec­tor of the Med­i­cal Chrono­bi­ol­ogy Pro­gram and as­so­ci­ate neu­ro­sci­en­tist at BWH, as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of medicine at Har­vard Med­i­cal School, and se­nior au­thor on this study. “Our re­sults in­di­cate that late eaters dis­played a slower weight-loss rate and lost sig­nif­i­cantly less weight than early eaters, sug­gest­ing that the tim­ing of large meals could be an im­por­tant fac­tor in a weight loss pro­gram.” To eval­u­ate the role of food tim­ing in weight-loss ef­fec­tive­ness, the re­searchers stud­ied 420 over­weight study par­tic­i­pants who fol­lowed a 20-week weight­loss treat­ment pro­gram in Spain. The par­tic­i­pants were di­vided into two groups: early-eaters and late-eaters, ac­cord­ing to the self-se­lected tim­ing of the main meal, which in this Mediter­ranean pop­u­la­tion was lunch. Dur­ing this meal, 40 per­cent of the to­tal daily calo­ries are con­sumed. Early-eaters ate lunch any­time be­fore 3 p.m. and late-eaters, af­ter 3 p.m. They found that la­teeaters lost sig­nif­i­cantly less weight than early-eaters, and dis­played a much slower rate of weight-loss. Re­searchers found that tim­ing of the other (smaller) meals did not play a role in the suc­cess of weight loss. How­ever, the late eaters—who lost less weight—also con­sumed fewer calo­ries dur­ing break­fast and were more likely to skip break­fast al­to­gether. Late-eaters also had a lower es­ti­mated in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity, a risk fac­tor for di­a­betes. The re­searchers also ex­am­ined other tra­di­tional fac­tors that play a role in weight loss such as to­tal calo­rie in­take and ex­pen­di­ture, ap­petite hor­mones lep­tin and ghre­lin, and sleep du­ra­tion. Among th­ese fac­tors, re­searchers found no dif­fer­ences be­tween both groups, sug­gest­ing that the tim­ing of the meal was an im­por­tant and in­de­pen­dent fac­tor in weight loss suc­cess. “This study em­pha­sizes that the tim­ing of food in­take it­self may play a sig­nif­i­cant role in weight reg­u­la­tion” ex­plains Marta Ga­raulet, PhD, pro­fes­sor of Phys­i­ol­ogy at the Univer­sity of Mur­cia Spain, and lead au­thor of the study. “Novel ther­a­peu­tic strate­gies should in­cor­po­rate not only the caloric in­take and macronu­tri­ent dis­tri­bu­tion, as it is clas­si­cally done, but also the tim­ing of food.” -This in­for­ma­tion pro­vided cour­tesy of Brigham and Women's Hos­pi­tal

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