ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, what you eat is incredibly important for maintaining good health – a fact widely accepted by doctors and patients alike – and a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and options rich in calcium will work wonders for a person’s overall health.

But even with a healthy diet, are you still looking to lose a few pounds? One way to do so might be to eat meals earlier in the day.

According to a new study reported on by The Inquisitr, participants who ate earlier lost an average of 5 pounds more than those who did not during the 20-week study.

“Eating late may influence the success of weight-loss therapy,” study authors wrote of their findings. “Novel therapeutic strategies should incorporate not only the caloric intake and macronutrient distribution — as is classically done — but also the timing of food.”

A total of 420 overweight and obese men and women who allowed their diets to be limited to 1,400 calories per day for about five months, and those who modified eating times lost an average of 22 pounds. Those who did not do so lost an average of 17 pounds.

“This was the first long-term large-scale study to really demonstrate that the timing of meals can predict weight-loss effectiveness,” Frank Scheer, director of the Medical Chronobiology Program and associate neuroscientist at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and co-author of the study, was quoted as saying to NPR.

Scheer added that altering eating patterns in relation to time can help different parts of the body work more in sync with one another.

He explained, ““When the timing of meals doesn’t match with the sleep-wave cycle, there is a disconnect between the different clocks we have in, basically, all the cells in our body.”

Researchers from Tufts University and the University of Murcia, in addition to the Women’s Hospital, additionally recommended that making your early lunch into the main meal of the day could also foster weight loss.

The study was published in the International Journal of Obesity.


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