“Calories can’t tell the time…. “ ⏰
It’s really easy to fall into the trap that eating your meals/snacks etc at certain times of day (or not eating at certain times of day) will help you lose weight (fat) more quickly.
One common idea is that you should fast for a certain number of hours during the day and only eat within a certain window of time. This varies but is usually an 8hr window or so. Proponents of this method suggest that by only eating during certain hours you can forget “complicated” diets etc and lose weight without doing anything more. You’ll hear lots of people saying they’ve achieved great fat loss using this method and they undoubtedly have. So surely it works then? Well yes it works – but only because those people have ended up eating fewer calories and therefore been in a calorie deficit, and lost fat/weight.
The problem with this method is that it doesn’t account for individual’s daily caloric requirements. So if someone started this method, but was eating more than their daily calorie requirement within that 8hr window, then they wouldn’t make any progress. Studies have shown that this method ONLY results in fat /weight loss when participants eat fewer calories than they are expending, and are therefore in a calorie deficit. Meal timing is irrelevant in terms of fat loss, it’s energy in vs out that matters.
Having said that, for some people, it’s easier to eat fewer calories if they restrict the hours in which they are “allowed” to eat. So if skipping breakfast, or not allowing yourself to eat after 8pm works for you then go for it! BUT you still need to be eating in a calorie deficit. For some people though, fasting for long periods of time, or skipping meals, isn’t a sustainable strategy long term. It can result in reduced energy levels, and excessive hunger, leading to periods of “binge” eating and therefore eating more than their daily calorie target. It can also lead to less activity (and therefore fewer calories burned) due to low energy levels.
So basically – do what works for you, but remember it’s the total calories that count – not when you eat them