A new study suggests that some people can achieve their weight loss goals without restricting their eating to certain times of the day.In a new study, researchers found that people who ate a greater number of large or medium meals during the day were more likely to gain weight.Multiple small meals a day may help people avoid gaining weight, say experts.
One of the most common reasons that people try intermittent fasting is for weight loss, especially at the beginning of the year when health goals jump to the top of many to-do lists.
But a new study suggests that some people can achieve their weight loss goals without restricting their eating to certain times of the day.
Researchers say that calorie restriction appears more successful than intermittent fasting for weight loss.
Over the course of a six-year study, researchers found that people who ate a greater number of large or medium meals during the day were more likely to gain weight.
In contrast, those who ate smaller meals were more likely to lose weight during this time.
However, the time interval between the first meal and last meal of the day had no impact on people’s weight.
Researchers write that this suggests that the size and frequency of meals — along with total calories eaten per day — have a bigger impact on weight change than the timing of meals.
In the study, published Jan. 18 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers enrolled nearly 550 adults from three health centers.
They obtained people’s height and weight measurements from electronic health records. This was used to calculate participants’ body mass index (BMI), which is a screening tool for overweight and obesity. A higher BMI does not always indicate higher body fat.
Participants used a mobile app for six months to record when they slept and the times and approximate sizes of their meals.
In addition, people completed surveys about their physical activity level, food intake, whether they were trying to lose weight, smoking status, and other factors.
Researchers followed participants for an average of 6.3 years, which included both the six months after enrollment and several years before.
The results showed that…