Stop Eating Anything After 2pm For Weight Loss
People who eat between 8am and 2pm burn fat more than those who eat between more traditional hours, like 8am and 8pm, even if they consumer the same number of calories.
The 5:2 diet was popular because it meant that people could eat what they wanted for five days a week – if they fasted for two days. Although the prospect of being hangry for 48 hours isn’t fun, for some people it was a better trade-off than restricting yourself 24/7.
Intermittent fasting is also the foundation of early time-restricted feeding (eTRF). The idea of eTRF is that you can eat what you want from 8am to 2pm, before undergoing 13 hours of fasting.
eTRF comes off the back of research from the University of Alabama. Scientists tracked 11 men and women who followed an eTRF diet for four days. They would eat four meals a day, eating their last by mid-afternoon. Then they ate the same number of calories for another four days, but this time they ate their meals between the typical times of 8am and 8pm.
Although the researchers found that the number of calories burned wasn’t affected by different eating times, eating between 8am and 2pm weirdly stopped the participants’ cravings at night, kept their appetite levels even, and increased fat burning overnight. All of this does, of course, help with weight loss. Conversely, those who ate between 8am and 8pm experienced cravings right up until bedtime.
Speaking to Daily Mail Online, the study’s lead author Dr Courtney Peterson said “When you’re eating between 8pm and 2am, you’re eating as much as you’re burning but you keep more muscle and lose more fat.”
“We were surprised because we thought people would get hungrier at night if they finished eating by 2pm,” he continues. “But we think this is because as you’re getting closer to bedtime, the body is thinking, ‘I haven’t had enough calories yet’ and on the 8am to 2pm schedule, the body has registered most of its calories.”
This aligns with research that says your metabolism burns the most fat in the morning, so it makes sense to consume your calories around then.