Timing of Eating


Anchor lead: Does limiting the duration of time during which you eat result in weight loss? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Consuming food for a limited amount of time earlier each day is advocated by some for weight loss. Now a study by Nisa Maruthur and colleagues at Johns Hopkins shows that if you eat the same amount of food each day, when you consume it really doesn’t matter.

Maruthur: In our study we provided all the food and randomized people to either the time restricted or their usual feeding pattern. The bottom line is that we found that eating earlier in the day didn’t seem to decrease weight more that eating later in the day if you keep your calories constant. We think now that eating earlier versus later should probably be based on individual preference more than anything else. If timing of feeding affects how many calories you eat then that’s a different story. If you find if you restrict your feeding you’re going to eat less than I think that will still serve you well but we worked to keep calories constant the whole twelve weeks of the study.  :30

This study had people eating most of their calories earlier during the day or following their usual custom. There was no difference in weight loss between the two groups after 12 weeks, Maruthur says. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.