WHEN you eat could be as important as WHAT you eat. According to a report from KPRC-TV in Houston, a new study suggests that timing when eating could matter when trying to lose weight.
Researchers from Harvard University said this is the first large-scale study that found that when you eat matters. People who eat their big meal of the day early tend to lose more than those who eat late.
The study looked at Europeans whose big meal of the day is lunch. Those who ate before 3 p.m. dropped significantly more weight, and they were also less likely to develop diabetes. The amount eaten didn’t seem to matter.
Obesity expert, Dr. Gary Foster says that although the study is interesting, "When it comes to weight control, it's a calorie game.” Foster says if you eat too much and move too little, you will gain no matter what. A calorie equals the same at 6 p.m. as it does at midnight.
Foster points out that if you change the time of day in which you eat your calories, it won’t make much difference as long as your calories are constant, it would make no difference.
He says that is likely why the late eaters in the study, who skipped breakfast, packed on the pounds.
Dr. Foster says: "It's not that there is something magical about breakfast, it's just that it sets you up to be more hungry when you do get to that lunch meal. It's not about a timing effect, it's that if you food deprive yourself for 5, 6, 7 hours, and let’s say, eat lunch at 3 instead of 1. You're going to be a lot hungrier at 3 o'clock, so you’re much more likely to overeat.”
By the way, for some great guidelines on diet and exercise check out the American Heart Association’s website at heart.org and click on “Getting Healthy”
I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.