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Later breakfast and earlier dinner boosts weight loss, study finds

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 30/08/2018 Henry Bodkin

The weight loss may simply be due to a longer fast period over night. © Provided by Shutterstock The weight loss may simply be due to a longer fast period over night. They key to losing weight may be as simple as eating a later breakfast and an earlier dinner, and new study suggests.

Participants in a trial who delayed their first meal of the day by 90 minutes and brought forward the last meal by 90 minutes lost more than twice the amount of body fat after 10 weeks compared to a control group, despite not cutting down on the amount of food they consumed.

Scientists say the study of 13 people, which appears to confirm the results of similar experiments in animals, could offer a new option to those trying to lose weight without reducing their calorie intake.

People undertaking traditional diets, which are based on cutting back on overall food amount, often suffer from a “rebound” effect whereby they end up eating more than they would normally have done.

Dr Jonathan Johnson, who led the research at the University of Surrey, said: “This is very encouraging.

“People can still, to some degree, eat the food that they would like but if they simply change the time at which they eat then that can have a long-term benefit.

© Provided by Shutterstock He added: “I would never say it’s a magic bullet, but it could be an important piece of the jigsaw.”

The research team believes that by moving both breakfast and dinner closer to the middle of the day participants may have more closely attuned their eating times with their circadian rhythms, meaning the food metabolised better.

Alternatively, the weight loss may simply be due to a longer fast period over night.

Related: Here's What to Eat in the Morning If You Usually Skip Breakfast (provided by POPSUGAR)

Additionally, although there were no restrictions on what participants could eat, those who changed their mealtimes ate less food than the control group.

“Reduction in body fat lessens our chances of developing obesity and related diseases, so is vital in improving our overall health,” said Dr Johnston.

The study is published in the Journal of Nutritional Sciences.

Watch: These superfoods are twice as healthy when eaten together (provided by Buzz60)

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