Background

Previous evidence confirms a relationship between the timing of food intake and weight loss in humans. However, to our knowledge, no studies have evaluated the effects of late vs. early evening meal consumption on weight loss, in people with obesity attending a weight loss program.

Methods

Healthy women [BMI = 27- 35 kg/m²; age= 18-45 y] were randomly assigned into two hypo-caloric weight loss groups: Early Evening Meal Group(EEM), or Late Evening Meal Group (LEM) for 12 weeks.

Results

82 participants were randomly assigned to the intervention groups. Baseline variables were not significantly different between the groups. A significant reduction in anthropometric measurements and significant improvements in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism characteristics were detected over the 12 weeks in both groups. Compared with LEM Group (mean± SD), EEM Group had a greater reduction in weight (EEM: -6.74 ± 1.92kg ; LEM: -4.81 ± 2.22kg; P<0.001), BMI (EEM: -2.60 ± 0.71kg/m²; LEM: -1.87 ±0.85kg/ m² ; P<0.001),waist circumference (EEM: -8± 3.25cm; LEM: -6± 3.05cm, P=0.007),total cholesterol (EEM: -0.51 ± 0.19 mmol/l ,LEM: -0.43 ± 0.19 mmol/l, P=0.038), triglyceride (EEM: -0.28 ± 0.10 mmol/l, LEM: -0.19 ± 0.10 mmol/l, P<0.001, HOMA IR (EEM: -0.83 ±0.37; LEM: -0.55 ± 0.28, P<0.001) and fasting insulin (EEM: -2.64 ± 1.49 m IU/ml; LEM: -1.43 ± 0.88 m IU/ml; P<0.001) after the 12 weeks.

Conclusions

Eating an earlier evening meal resulted in favorable changes in weight loss during a 12-week weight loss program.It may also offer clinical benefits with respect to changes in plasma cardiometabolic risk markers.