Study: This Is What Happens To Belly Fat When You Start Eating Dinner At 2 p.m.

With over two-thirds of American adults considered to be obese or overweight, research into dietary patterns provides much-needed data on strategies to prevent and counter obesity. A new study shows that eating the last meal very early in the day might have a positive effect on metabolism.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), more than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese.

One in 20 adults have extreme obesity, the NIDDK report, and one-third of adolescents are either overweight or obese.

Overweight and obesity are considered risk factors for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease, as well as several types of cancer.

A new study looked at what effects eating dinner or skipping it altogether, might have on body fat. The study examined the impact of early time restricted feeding (eTRF) schedules of overweight adults.

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Time-Restricted Feeding Study

eTRF is an eating schedule that involves eating in a short period, usually less than 9 hours, followed by a period of fasting of 15 hours or more.

Studies Shown Promise in Rodents

Previous studies tested eTRF on rodents. The studies revealed that a restricted feeding schedule counters weight gain and increases energy expenditure. Studies in rodents showed that eTRF also decreases fat mass, as well as lowering the risk of chronic diseases.

A recent study on mice found that time-restricted feeding (TRF), where food access was limited to 9-12 hours, is an effective intervention against obesity. Without any calorie restriction, a TRF pattern can work against high-fat, high-fructose, and high-sucrose diets.

TRF also had a positive therapeutic effect against several metabolic diseases. It stabilized and finally reversed the progression of metabolic diseases in mice with pre-existing obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The effect eTRF has on the energy metabolism is connected with the body’s circadian rhythm. The metabolism works at its best in the morning, so eating more in the morning can have positive effects on one’s health.

Assessing eTRF In Humans

Courtney Peterson, Ph.D., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and colleagues, thought of examining the effects eTRF has on humans. This is the first time such an eTRF study was performed.

The study looked at the connection between eTRF and energy expenditure, macronutrient oxidation, and appetite. For good weight management, the energy intake has to match energy expenditure. In addition, the intake of macronutrients must match macronutrients oxidation.