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Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (
February 2013

Eating Earlier in the Day May Aid Weight Loss

Eating earlier in the day may aid weight loss, suggests a recent study.

The new study placed 420 participants in Spain on a 20-week plan for weight loss. Participants were categorized as early eaters or late eaters. Early eaters ate lunch before 3 PM, and late eaters ate lunch after 3 PM. The lunch made up 40 percent of the total daily calories.

Overall, researchers found the late eaters lost significantly less weight and lost weight at a significantly slower rate than the early eaters. The amount of calories consumed, the types of food, and calories burned were similar in the early eaters and the late eaters. The late eaters were also more likely to skip breakfast than the early eaters.

The authors concluded that the timing of meals may affect weight loss. Further research on this topic is needed for a definitive conclusion.

For more information about integrative therapies for weight loss, please visit Natural Standard's Comparative Effectiveness Database.


  1. Garaulet M, Gómez-Abellán P, Alburquerque-Béjar JJ et al. Timing of food intake predicts weight loss effectiveness. Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Jan 29. View Abstract
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
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