Can Body Fat Be Controlled By Change In Breakfast and Dinner Times?
YES, say researchers at the University of Surrey.
The fight between us and the extra flab we picked up from the dinner party with friends last Saturday is eternal. The perfectly decadent slice of pizza heaped with “veggie goodness” with an extra layer of bubbling cheese stays with us as a layer of body fat! Swimming in the cheese-burst heaven, we tend to forget the pounds we are packing away in our already fat-laden bodies.
The time when we damn those french fries and blueberry cheesecake is something we are all familiar with. As we struggle uphill the treadmill we curse the gods of baked goodies and frothy drinks. What can one do in the face of greasy and buttery goodness beckoning us from each garishly-colored fast-food joints we walk by? We might as well name the extra layer of insulation we have ‘Bob’ and accept it as a part of the family!
Body Fat Vs Science
Nevertheless, our scientific warriors are always coming up with ways for us to strengthen our defense against delicious food. Which is always bad for our arteries! (FYI, why does junk food taste so good anyway?) A team of researchers at the University of Surrey have concluded that a little change in our eating times can help us fight body fat.
The study, stretching over ten weeks, was published in the Journal of Nutritional Sciences. It used “time-restricted feeding” where participants kept fasts intermittently. The team studied the effect of changing eating times of dietary intake and signs that hint at heart problems and diabetes and body composition.
The researchers split the participants into two groups. Group A was told to delay their breakfast by around 90 minutes while they were to eat dinner about 90 minutes earlier. Group B was asked to maintain their regular eating times. Participants had to maintain as diet dairy and give blood samples before and during the study. They were also asked to complete a questionnaire right after the study.
What the Study Said
This study differed from previous studies because the participants were not asked to follow a specific diet but to maintain the time window given to them. This way, the researchers were able to monitor the changes this kind of diet brought in the participants.
The study found Group A lost more than double the body fat, on an average, as compared to Group B. Participants who ate food during the changed mealtimes felt less hungry and thus consumed less food. This was supported by the answers to the questionnaire where 57 percent of people saw a reduction in the amount of food consumed. This was apparently due to reduced appetite and fewer number of eating/snacking opportunities.
What the Experts Said
“Although this study is small, it has provided us with invaluable insight into how slight alterations to our meal times can have benefits to our bodies. Reduction in body fat lessens our chances of developing obesity and related diseases,” said Dr. Jonathan Johnston of the University of Surrey.
However, 57 percent of the candidates said that they would not be able to maintain their new eating times. Why? It was due to the timings being incompatible with their social lives and family time. But 43 percent said if the meal times were flexible then they may consider continuing with the new eating regime.
“Fasting diets are difficult to follow and may not always be compatible with family and social life. We need to make sure they are flexible and conducive to real life, as the potential benefits of such diets are clear to see,” he added.
Nothing really, unless we just sit down and think it all through. The simplest way through any convoluted problem is to break it down to its bare bones. What do we see? We see that moderation in everything we consume can have long-term effects. Moderation can really be the key to all the health-related problems we have. Life is short. Do not let the good things in life pass you by just because we get greedy in consuming them. Take a breath, count to ten and keep telling yourself that there is another day and week and month to eat and drink. I can live healthier, if I consume a bit less today and enjoy this meal again, maybe next week!