Eat lunch earlier, shed more pounds? That’s the finding released today in the International Journal of Obesity
, which followed 420 Spanish people in a weight-loss program.
In the study, people lost 25 percent less weight if they ate lunch after 3 p.m. But the study doesn’t mean that you should eat earlier—in fact, you might want to do the opposite. The Spanish are known for making a late lunch the biggest meal of the day, so the study’s authors couldn’t say that the findings would apply here in the U.S.
That said, other new research does show that when you eat—not what you eat—can turn on your body’s fat-fighting genes. Until Mr. Edison lit our evenings, we rose with the sun, worked, ate, played, and slept. That’s what your hormonal cycle is designed for. Now, our schedules are more like eat-work-eat-work-eat-sleep. The average American eats 3.5 times per day, according to research from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences—and that’s only counting meals of at least 70 calories or more, not the handful of chips you grab between commercial breaks.
In other words, our modern schedule has thrown our bodies’ clocks completely out of whack—and along with it, our metabolism. The result: It’s easy to get caught in a “fat cycle”: a constant flow of hunger hormones that makes you prone to cravings. more