Do you wonder how your buddy eats high-fat foods and still weighs less than you even though you eat healthy and sometimes skip meals? Clearly his metabolism is different than yours, but there’s obviously more to it. According to recent research, eating patterns may also be a factor.
Recently, researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem conducted an 18-week study using four groups of mice with varying eating patterns. One group ate lower-fat foods at unscheduled times and were allowed to eat as much as they wanted. Another group was given higher fat content, also at an unscheduled times. The remaining two groups had scheduled feedings (eating specific amounts at the same time each day), but vastly different diets as one group was given high-fat meals and the other low fat.
The results were surprising in various ways. One surprise was that the group eating limitless amounts of lower-fat foods consumed an equal amount of calories as the scheduled high-fat diet group. However, while they consumed the same amount of calories, the high-fat group on the eating schedule finished the study with a bodyweight that was 12% lower and cholesterol levels that were also 21% lower. When compared to the high fat unscheduled feedings group, the high fat scheduled group again had better results as their bodyweight was 18% lower and they had a 30% reduction in cholesterol levels.
The study, published in the FASEB Journal, concluded that scheduled meals positively impact on the otherwise negatives effects of a high-fat diet and may even be effective in helping to prevent obesity. The next time you’re watching your friend eating high-fat foods, pay attention to the time. Chances are, it’s always the same.