Everyone wants to banish fat without changing their diets. A new study indicates that may be possible – if you change when you eat as opposed to what you eat.
A very small study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science found that eating breakfast 90 minutes later and dinner 90 minutes earlier than one's typical mealtime reduced body fat.
Researchers studied 16 volunteers for 10 weeks and split them into two separate groups.
The first group changed their meal times as previously mentioned, and the second ate according to their normal schedule. No other changes were made, so people could continue to eat the same foods they've always enjoyed. Participants provided blood samples before and after the study and completed questionnaires about their diets.
At the end of the 10 weeks, researchers found that people who changed their eating times lost more body fat compared to those who didn't. However, they were no major changes in body weight, meaning the numbers on the scale didn't reflect changes in body composition.
So, what caused this reduction in fat?
The researchers don't have a conclusive reason, but did find that people who changed their eating times consumed fewer calories because they had less time available for snacking and drinking alcohol. Prior research has also shown that eating at night can spike insulin levels, which makes your body hold onto fat.
This article originally appeared on Men's Health US.