Time Your Meals For Weight Loss Success And Your Best Body, Say Diet Researchers - Here's How!

Joanne Eglash

Frustrated with trying to achieve your weight loss goals? A new study suggests that by limiting the times during which you eat, you might succeed in shedding pounds without changing your diet. The researchers also revealed that based on their discoveries, counting calories is not the answer to weight loss, reports the Telegraph.

The key to weight loss resides in timing your meals so that you eat only during a 12-hour period. You then fast the rest of the day, which helps your body burn fat rather than store it, say the Salk Institute researchers.

For example, you might eat your last meal at 7 p.m., and then fast until 7 a.m. That daily fasting period may also help with battling diabetes and high cholesterol as well as boosting weight loss, according to the new study.

And for those who despair of trying to count calories during a holiday season devoted to feasting, the study adds a new weapon to the weight loss arsenal.

"These days, most of the advice is, 'You have to change nutrition, you have to eat a healthy diet,'" said associate professor Satchidananda Panda. "But many people don't have access to healthy diets. So the question is, without access to a healthy diet, can they still practice time-restricted feeding and reap some benefit?"

The answer, said Panda, is yes. The study indicated that mice who ate only 12 hours daily weighed less and were healthier than those who ate the same food but grazed non-stop. The skinny mice retained the weight loss benefits even when allowed to "cheat" occasionally.

The fact that it worked no matter what the diet, and the fact that it worked over the weekend and weekdays, was a very nice surprise, added study lead author Amandine Chaix, a postdoctoral researcher.

That research project also revealed that for those with type 2 diabetes, the power of timing meals made a difference, noted Lagakos. It also contradicted the previous advice from many diet gurus that grazing somehow boosts the metabolism.

Two meals per day (skipping dinner) produced greater weight loss and better metabolic improvements than grazing (6 smaller meals per day). And grazing didn't 'boost metabolic rate.'

"Low carb fared better than skipping breakfast," summed up Lagakos.

The evidence in favor of Paleo-style and low-carb diets supports the advice of Dr. Mark Hyman, the physician to Hillary and Bill Clinton. As the Inquisitr reported, he believes that modified Paleo low-carb diets are more effective for weight loss than fat-free or low-fat vegan plans, and persuaded the former President to halt his plant-based diet and go for a high protein low-carb regime.

"It's hard being a vegan to eat enough good, quality protein and not have too much starch. I know a lot of fat vegans," declared Dr. Hyman.

[Photo By Frank Micelotta/Getty Images]