This Morning: Dr Sara talks about the benefits of intermittent fasting

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Some nutrition experts say the time people eat can contribute to weight loss or weight gain, while others say the time of day slimmers eat doesn’t make any difference at all to their weight. Nutrition expert Tim Spector has shared his expertise on the matter, saying there is a specific time of day dieters should eat their breakfast.

It is well-known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it prepares one for the hours ahead, preventing hunger pangs later in the day.

Most people eat breakfast a few minutes after they wake up, but nutrition expert Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, has said it is better to wait a few hours.

Waiting a few hours before eating anything after waking up is better for weight loss, according to Professor Spector.

This is because the number of hours people fast overnight plays an important role in staying healthy.

It is likely one has eaten before bed the night before, and therefore it is best to weight in order to reach the ideal number of fasting hours.

Growing evidence suggests that 14 hours of fasting overnight is the perfect amount of time.

This speeds up the metabolism and helps people lose excess weight.

Speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival last week, Professor Spector said: “If you have a later breakfast, that will give you some benefits.

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“I think we have to rethink all the things we have been told are unhealthy, because there’s just so much new science coming out.”

People who eat an early dinner do not need to worry about consuming a late breakfast, but Professor Spector noted more and more Britons are eating their meals similarly to those on the continent.

He continued: “There are still people, particularly in the north of England, who eat earlier, but generally we have moved towards continental eating habits, having dinner much later like people in Spain and Italy.

“Even those who don’t do that may end up snacking up until 9pm, making it difficult to achieve a 14-hour fasting period.

“There is a simple change people can make by shifting their breakfast from 8am to 11am, which actually is more effective than more fashionable fasting diets like 5:2.”

The 5:2 is a diet made popular by Dr Michael Mosley, who is the founder of The Fast 800 diet, which is comprised of the Mediterranean diet, time-restricted eating, and intermittent fasting.

Dr Mosley has previously advised dieters to stop eating their dinner at a specific time, deeming it healthier and better for weight loss.

He said: “Broadly, I encourage people to try and have their evening meal earlier, say 7pm to 7.30pm. Try and stop eating by 8pm, and then not eat anything with calories after that.”

Professor Spector went on to explain why eating a later breakfast helps with weight loss.

He said: “Fasting for 14 hours a day, using a later breakfast, but overall eating the same amount, is easier to achieve long term.

“It works because the microbes in our gut have a circadian rhythm like us and need a rest period.

“Studies suggest a later breakfast to achieve 14 hours of fasting could help people to lose four to 11 pounds of weight over several months of doing it.

“Their microbes essentially become more efficient at burning food.”

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