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Trying to lose weight? Eat dinner early and watch the pounds drop! By Paul Fulmer, MD

Losing weight can be a tough job.  We are so busy with work, kids and activities that it’s hard to find time in the day to exercise.  Our busy lifestyles also affect our food choices, which definitely can increase our weight.  Another proven component is sleep.  If we don’t get enough sleep each night or if the sleep is disruptive, then it is virtually impossible to loose weight no matter how much we diet and exercise.

An interesting study was recently published by researchers at the University of Murcia in Spain and Tufts University in Boston showing that the time of day people eat affects their weight loss.  The study observed 420 overweight people and noticed that those who ate their lunch before 3pm lost on average 22 pounds, while those who ate later after 3pm only averaged 17pound loss.  The midday meal is when most of the caloric intake occurs in the Mediterranean culture.

By comparison, in the US our main caloric intake is at the evening meal.  So if eating earlier improves weight loss, then we should consider eating dinner earlier in the evening.  Researchers don’t know why weight loss was greater in the early eaters, but one hypothesis is that the glucose (sugar) is processed differently depending on the time of day.  Don’t forget however that limiting calories any time of the day will allow you to loose weight.

Even though this doesn’t prove that eating earlier will guarantee that you loose weight.  The old adage, “Eat breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dinner like a Pauper,” appears to hold true!

So if you are on a diet and its not going so well.  Consider all aspects of your lifestyle and make sure you are maximizing your chances.  Limit your calories, exercise daily, get at least 8 hours of good sleep a night and try eating more of your calories earlier in the day and watch the pounds melt away!!


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