Eating a big meal does not have to lead to weight gain, if you time it right.
There are several ways to do a short-term fast, said Sally Squires who writes for the Lean Plate Club™ blog. A short-term fast means that you eat during part of the day and the rest of the day, generally about 14 hours, you are not eating.
If that seems like a long time to go without a snack, remember that you are sleeping for some of those hours.
Short-term fasts involve eating earlier in the day to align with your circadian rhythm, and they have been known to promote weight loss, Squires said.
Some of these fasts advocate skipping breakfast, eating a big lunch and a very light dinner. While another schedule, Squires said, could mean breaking fast like a king, lunching like a prince and supping like a pauper.
Which is better?
A study found that women who ate a high-calorie lunch lost 3 pounds more over 12 weeks than those who ate a big dinner, Squires said.
Another study that was published in the Journal of Obesity found that eating from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. did not have any effect on how calories were burned, but it did have an effect on a hormone that regulates appetite.
The subjects felt “less hungry, more full and had less desire to eat than when they ate meals from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” she said.
Squires said other purported benefits of short-term fasting include cutting inflammation, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and other chronic illnesses.
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