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Effects of consuming later vs. earlier evening meal on weight loss 

Ameneh Madjd, Moira A. Taylor, Alireza Delavari, Reza Malekzadeh, Ian A. Macdonald and Hamid R. Farshchi

Summary

  • Research Background:

The relationship between meal timing and weight loss has been increasingly recognized. This study focuses on the impact of early vs. late evening meal consumption on weight loss and cardiometabolic risk factors in women engaged in a weight loss program. It builds on existing evidence suggesting that the timing of food intake, particularly in the evening, plays a crucial role in managing obesity and its related health risks.

 

  • Study Details: 

The study involved 82 healthy women with a BMI of 27−35 kg/m^2, aged between 18−45 years, randomly assigned to two groups: an Early Evening Meal (EEM) group consuming dinner between 19:00−19:30, and a Late Evening Meal (LEM) group eating between 22:30−23:00. Over 12 weeks, outcomes in weight loss, BMI, waist circumference, total cholesterol, triglycerides (TAG), and insulin resistance were compared.

  • Key Findings:

  1. Weight Loss and Body Measurements: Participants in the EEM group experienced significantly greater reductions in weight, BMI, and waist circumference than those in the LEM group.

  2. Cardiometabolic Risk Factors: The EEM group also saw more favorable changes in total cholesterol, TAG levels, and insulin resistance, indicating a direct link between meal timing and improvements in cardiometabolic health during a weight loss effort.

  3. Meal Patterns and Obesity: The study underlines the importance of not just what is eaten, but when it is eaten. Aligning meal times, particularly the evening meal, with the body's circadian rhythms may enhance weight loss outcomes and metabolic health.

  • What Does This Mean for Diabetic Patients?

For patients managing diabetes, the findings underscore the significance of meal timing in controlling insulin resistance and potentially mitigating diabetes-related complications. Incorporating meal timing strategies into diabetes management plans could offer an additional tool for improving glycemic control and reducing cardiometabolic risks.

 

  • Final Thoughts:  

This research provides compelling evidence that earlier evening meals can lead to more significant weight loss and better cardiometabolic profiles than later meals in women participating in a weight loss program. The findings suggest that healthcare professionals should consider meal timing, alongside dietary composition and calorie intake, in weight loss and obesity management strategies. Further research is needed to explore the long-term implications of meal timing on weight maintenance and overall health, as well as its applicability to broader populations, including men and postmenopausal women.

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Contributors

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