This is the best time of day to eat if you want to lose weight

This is the best time of day to eat if you want to lose weight

Timing, it seems, is everything. Especially when it comes to food. From intermittent fasting to one-meal-a-day diets, to time-restricted eating. Yes you can control your calories but medical research shows that when you eat is as important as what you eat.

In June a new study from the New York University School of Medicine showed that for people with high blood pressure and obesity, eating 80 per cent of their calories by 1pm reduced the amount of time their blood sugar was in the “high” range.

Lead author of the study Dr Joanne Bruno said: “This type of intermittent fasting may prevent those with prediabetes and obesity from progressing to Type 2 diabetes.”

Experts in the emerging field of chrono-nutrition (the science of how food, metabolism, meal timing and your body clock interact) think this could result from eating in sync with our body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm.

Dr Sarah Berry of King’s College London is the lead nutritional scientist for Predict – the world’s largest nutritional ongoing research program. She says: “Every cell in our body has a little clock, mainly driven by the light and dark cycle, but also by when we eat. We don’t fully understand all the mechanisms, but we know they impact hormones and how we metabolise food. There’s evidence to show that eating in line with your body clock will improve your metabolic health, inflammation and weight.”

Read on to find out how to eat in alignment with your internal clock to lose weight.

10am – Feast on smoked salmon and scrambled eggs

Dr Berry’s research confirms the benefits of eating within a 10-hour window, eating no later than 8pm, and fasting for 14 hours overnight. Hence breakfast at 10am.

Researchers aren’t totally clear why this should be better for your metabolism. It could be that we evolved during hunter-gatherer days to eat during daylight. Whatever the reasons, one study by Surrey University showed that people consume fewer calories and lose weight when they shift breakfast to 1.5 hours later and eat dinner 1.5 hours earlier.