In Brief

Eating by the Clock

Late-lunchers tend to lose less weight, study finds
September 3, 2013

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Whatever your diet consists of, the time of day you eat it may play a significant role in how much you weigh, a recent study suggests. The study, conducted by researchers from the HNRCA, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the University of Murcia in Spain, followed 420 individuals who enrolled in a 20-week weight-loss program in Spain.

Subjects were divided into two groups: early eaters (who ate a Mediterranean-style lunch before 3 p.m.) and late eaters (who ate the same lunch after 3 p.m.). Results, which appeared in the January 13 issue of the International Journal of Obesity, showed that early eaters lost an average of 22 pounds in 20 weeks, while late eaters lost 17 pounds.

Researchers suspect that glucose generated by the meals might be processed differently by the body depending on the time of day. Another factor in the weight-loss difference might be that late eaters tend to eat less breakfast, or skip the meal altogether, which goes against most dieting advice.

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