Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness and nutrition courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
Meal-timing strategies appear to help with weight loss, and researchers agree that coordinating meals with your natural circadian rhythm can lead to improved metabolic health. But it appears that a strategy called early time-restricted feeding, which offers a shorter window of time in which to consume your meals — for instance 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. — also helps reduce appetite and boost fat loss, according to a report published in the journal Obesity.
The hormone ghrelin was lower in the morning and in the evening with study participants who followed the early time-restricted feeding schedule, resulting in a reduced desire to eat. They also burned more fat during a 24-hour period than those on a traditional intermittent-fasting plan. Researches do warn, however, that athletes and very active people may have a difficult time with this kind of super-restrictive plan, so assess your schedule and your lifestyle to determine whether it is right for you.