Keeping your calorie count down at night may pay off if you’re looking to lose weight, according to a study presented at the Obesity Society Annual Meeting. Researchers found that when subjects restricted eating to between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. they burned about 6% more fat than when they ate the same number of calories between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., without feeling hungrier at night.
“People’s appetite levels were more stable when they restricted their eating time,” says study author Courtney M. Peterson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “It may be that when you’ve eaten all of your calories, your body knows you’ve had enough for the day.” Although this type of restricted diet is extreme for most people’s lifestyle, and the study was done with a relatively small number of participants (11 men and women, all overweight), consider front-loading the majority of your calories earlier in the day, and keep your dinner light.
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