If you’re looking to boost your metabolism, look no further than your dinner. A recent study found that overweight people who consume food during a smaller window of time than usual reported fewer hunger swings and burned more calories during the night hours.
The study was small in size, and an explanation for the results is yet to be found. The researchers are hopeful that further research into this association could offer an insight into a possible approach to losing weight and combating the growing obesity problem.
The researchers evaluated 11 men and women with an average body mass index of 30. All the participants tried both the early restricted-eating pattern and then the typical eating pattern.
In each approach, participants consumed the same number of calories and only food provided by the researchers.
Although restricted eating did not change the total count of the calories burned, it did increase the amount of fat burned at some points throughout the night. The restricted eating improved the body’s ability to switch between burning carbohydrates and burning fat. This is known as metabolic flexibility.
Restricted eating was also associated with fewer hunger swings. Still, the long-term effects of restricted eating with regards to weight loss are unclear.
The findings are preliminary, and further research is required in order to better understand the underlying mechanisms.