New American research studying how the timing of meals can affect BMI (body mass index) suggests four eating strategies to manage and maintain weight long term. The research is published in the Journal of Nutrition.
Choosing the right times to eat during the day is a winning strategy when it comes to avoiding weight gain, according to a study carried out by researchers at Loma Linda University in the USA.
Data gathered from 50,660 healthy adults aged over 30 revealed four factors associated with a decrease in BMI: eating only one or two meals per day; maintaining an overnight fast of up to 18 hours; eating breakfast instead of skipping it; and making breakfast or lunch the largest meal of the day.
While the conclusions seemingly confirm the old adage "breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper," the study also found that skipping dinner and fasting overnight for up to 18 hours was associated with a decrease in BMI. This intermittent fast may lead to a fall in the level of insulin, the hormone that contributes to storing fat.
Logically, the highest BMI was seen in participants who made dinner the biggest meal of the day, as well as in those who ate more than three meals a day (snacks were counted as extra meals).