If you are trying to lose weight gained during the holidays or festive season to fit back into your old denims or bathing suit, or just want to lead a healthier lifestyle, you know it is a task that will take some time and patience, of course. We are all guilty of trying all sorts of diets and fitness tips to lose those extra pounds. While some have been successful in meeting their goals, others have struggled to a point that has made them give up hope. But not anymore! This simple change in your lifestyle may help achieve your weight loss goals. Meal timing strategies such as intermittent fasting or eating earlier in the daytime may to help you lose weight naturally; how, you ask? It just lowers down your appetite rather than burning more calories, as per a study, published in the journal 'Obesity'.
The findings of the study revealed that meal timing affects 24-hour energy metabolism when food intake and meal frequency are matched. "Coordinating meals with circadian rhythms, or your body's internal clock, maybe a powerful strategy for reducing appetite and improving metabolic health," said Eric Ravussin, one of the study's authors.
(Also Read: 5 Morning Rituals For Weight Loss)
Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss: Meal timing strategies such as intermittent fasting or eating earlier in the daytime may to help you lose weight naturally.
"We suspect that a majority of people may find meal timing strategies helpful for losing weight or to maintain their weight since these strategies seem to naturally appetite, which may help people eat less," said Courtney M. Peterson, lead author of the study.
The researchers also said that meal timing strategies may help people burn more fat on average during a 24-hour period. Early Time-Restricted Feeding (eTRF), which is a form of daily intermittent fasting, where dinner is literally eaten in the afternoon, helped to improve people's ability to switch between burning carbs for energy to burning fat for energy, an aspect of metabolism known as metabolic flexibility.
Researchers followed 11 adult men and women who were overweight. Participants tried two different meal timing strategies in random order: a control schedule where participants ate three meals during a 12-hour period with breakfast at 8:00 am and dinner at 8:00 pm, and an eTRF schedule where participants ate three meals over a six-hour period with breakfast at 8:00 am and dinner at 2:00 pm.
Study participants followed the different schedules for four days in a row. On the fourth day, researchers measured the metabolism of participants by placing them in a respiratory chamber, where they measured how many calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein were burned.
Researchers also measured the appetite levels of participants every three hours while they were awake, as well as hunger hormones in the morning and evening. It was found that although eTRF did not significantly affect the number of calories participants burned, but it did lower the levels of hunger hormone ghrelin and boosted some aspects of appetite. It also increased fat-burning over the 24-hour day.
Intermittent Fasting Diet Tips
1. Have Black Coffee During The Fasting Period
As per health experts, drinking black coffee during your fasting period may fasten fat burn and weight loss. Moreover, caffeine in coffee helps accelerate weight loss programme. It stimulates the metabolic activity and increases the energy level, which further curbs hunger.
2. Break Your Fast With Healthy Meals
Do not break your fast with unhealthy junk foods as it will turn out to be counter-productive. When you're fasting for 12 to 14 hours, you are likely to be ravenous when the fasting window ends. Make sure you break your fast with a modestly-sized and healthy meal.
3. Keep Your Meal Nutrient-Dense
Add foods that are full of healthy fats, protein and fibre like fresh vegetables while following intermittent fasting. You can also include healthy carbs from foods like brown rice, sweet potatoes, oats, millets etc. Complex carbs are good for our body and fuel us with the energy we need to get going for the rest of the day.
4. Break Your Meals Down
While following Intermittent Fasting/Time Restricted Feeding, it is recommended to break down meals into three or four small meals, instead of eating one big meal. Eating more often, will help your metabolism stay up and hence, may help you burn more fat.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)