Want to lose weight? You should stop eating at 3pm every day, experts reveal
- Finishing all meals before 3pm and not snacking helps people to lose weight
- Experts who analyzed 250 studies advise fasting for at least 14 hours a day
- The review suggests it gives people better control of their blood sugar levels
- Eating earlier was linked to healthier gut bacteria, which aids overall health
finishing all meals before 3pm and not snacking in the evening boosts health and helps people lose weight, a review has suggested.
Experts who analyzed 250 previous studies have advised fasting for at least 14 hours a day and limiting food intake between 6am and 3pm.
They say it works best with the body clock and is closer to how our hunter-gather ancestors would have eaten, as they would not have had unrestricted access to food.
People who ate this way had better control of their blood sugar, lost weight, shed dangerous fat around their midriff and reduced inflammation, researchers claimed.
Eating earlier was also linked to healthier gut bacteria, which aids the immune system and overall health, research presented at the European Congress on Obesity revealed.
Finishing all meals before 3pm and not snacking in the evening boosts health and helps people lose weight, a review has suggested (stock image)
Dr Courtney Peterson, from the University of Alabama in Birmingham in the US, said: ‘Data suggests that eating earlier in the day improves weight loss, glycemic control, appetite, insulin resistance and fertility.’
A study on the 6am to 3pm eating regime, first published in Nature Communications, added: ‘Western-style diets, which include fat-rich food and snacks that are consumed around the clock, play a causative role in the development of some chronic diseases .
‘In contrast, our human ancestors did not have continuous access to a food supply.’
Dr Peterson warned that grazing throughout the day increases the risk of obesity by 57 per cent and advised sticking to early and regular meal times to avoid triggering a form of ‘metabolic jetlag’.
She said: ‘Most people eat within a 12-hour window but that time window shifts from day to day.
‘So for some people that eating window can be 14 or 15 hours because one day they’ll eat breakfast and another day they’ll eat really late.
‘We think benefits come when it is the same eating time window each day. The reason for this is you have an internal biological clock, called the circadian system.
Experts who analyzed 250 previous studies have advised fasting for at least 14 hours a day and limiting food intake between 6am and 3pm (stock image)
‘This clock makes you better at doing different things at different times of the day.
‘So for instance, your best muscular strength, greatest reaction time and greatest coordination are in the afternoon.
‘Your highest alertness, testosterone production, and in most people best blood sugar control is in the morning. So your metabolism is kind of optimized.
‘Your body is optimized to do different things at different times of the day.
‘One of the things that’s really important about having these optimal circadian rhythms is doing the same thing at a consistent time of day.’
She added: ‘A great example of this is say, you normally go to bed at 10pm and the next night you’re out partying and go to bed at 2am.
‘Even if you’re in bed for those same eight hours of sleep, you feel way less good. That’s because your body thinks it has shifted several time zones. You get this sort of feeling of jet lag.
‘There’s actually a similar thing going on when you shift your meals from day to day and we now call that metabolic jetlag.’