CURRY, chips and burgers are the scourge of most dieters, but now they can go back on the menu if they are eaten at set times of the day.
People who snack on healthy food may consume only a small amount of fat. However, their haphazard eating patterns mean they can put on weight, a study suggests. In contrast, sticking to strict meal times is good for the metabolism and helps the body burn off fat, allowing a more liberal choice of food.
The findings indicate that adopting a fixed timetable for meals could be a more effective method of dieting than trying to cut out fatty foods and might help prevent obesity.
Previous studies have shown that both a high-fat diet and eating patterns that disrupt the natural body clock can interfere with our metabolism and raise the risk of obesity. Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem tested the effects of timing and fat intake on four groups of mice over an 18-week period.
All four of the groups gained weight over the course of the trial, with the group that ate a high-fat diet at irregular intervals gaining the most weight.
But more surprisingly, the mice that had been fed a high-fat diet at regular intervals finished the trial in a better condition than those that ate low-fat foods whenever they wanted, despite consuming the same number of calories.