Last reviewed by Drug Expert on August 1st, 2019.
If you’re looking to lose weight, you will need more than simple diet and exercise to get the best results. Eating healthy and exercising daily doesn’t always lead to fast weight loss and that’s because there are usually other factors at play. You can eat healthy and exercise all you want…and still not lose any weight. It turns out, this could be all because you’re not eating at the right times!
When To Eat For Optimal Weight Loss
A recent study found that the exact times you eat can completely change the amount of weight you lose. You’ve probably heard about the act of fasting to accelerate your weight loss, and it looks like this could be an effective method. Researchers found that people who eat their final meal of the day earlier and then fast for more than 12 hours overnight were more likely to lose weight!
The study had its participants try two different eating schedules. The first was a typical schedule, with their last meal being at 8PM and their next meal being at 8AM the following day. That meant they were fasting for 12 hours overnight. For the second schedule, the participants ate three meals a day, with their last meal being at 2PM and their next meal being at 8AM the following day. This had them fasting for a total of 18 hours overnight.
When the participants ate their last meal at 8PM, their body was not fasting for a substantial enough time period and they were unable to burn much fat. When the participants ate their final meal at 2PM, fasting for 18 hours, their body had no choice but to begin burning fat for energy. This can lead to much quicker weight loss. With that said, fasting for 18 hours is incredibly unreasonable and unhealthy for the vast majority of the population (especially diabetics, who need to maintain their blood sugar levels). There has to be a better way to do this!
If you want to optimize fat loss through fasting but also maintain a healthy and reasonable eating schedule, you may want to opt for something in-between the two schedules that were used in the study. Many fitness experts recommend eating your last meal of the day around 6PM and then not eating again until the following morning around 8AM. This would have you fasting for 14 hours, which will help send your body into fat-burning mode without dropping blood sugar levels or forcing you to follow an unreasonable eating schedule!