The exact time you eat breakfast could contribute to weight loss and staying healthy, according to an expert.
Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, said breakfast should be delayed until after 11am, as eating later in the evening is becoming more common.
The Professor and co-creator of the the Zoe Covid app, which traced the spread of the virus across the UK, announced this while speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival.
Speaking to his audience, Spector said: “If you have a later breakfast, that will give you some benefits.
“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.”
He said that because people can be eating as late as 9pm, the best way to fast for 14 hours overnight is to have an 11am breakfast, the Telegraph reports.
There is evidence that a 14-hour fast is good for the metabolism.
The expert says that people in the UK are starting to have eating habits like those in Spain and Italy and many people snack late into the evening.
He added: “Even those who don’t do that may end up snacking up until 9pm, making it difficult to achieve a 14-hour fasting period."
And he said having breakfast at 11am is "more effective" than the 5:2 diet. This popular diet sees people 'fast' for two days on a calorie-restrictive diet and eat normally for five.
Prof Spector said that microbes in our gut have a 24-hour "circadian rhythm like us" and need a rest.
He added that people who have 14 hours of fasting with a later breakfast could help them lose between four and 11 pounds over several months.
“Their microbes essentially become more efficient at burning food," he said.
The idea of a 14-hour fast was also mentioned as a way to stay healthy by Dr Sara Kayat on ITV's This Morning.
Dr Sara said: “250 studies were reviewed and they found that fasting for at least 14 hours a day does improve overall health.
“It’s thought to be linked to our ‘hunter-gatherer’ ancestor type of diets and how they would've then.
"There was one study that suggests eating between 6am and 3pm with a 15 hour overnight fast was the most natural for our body clock and that it boosted the way we managed our blood sugar levels.
“Our visceral fat - it reduced are fat around the centre and reduced inflammation,” she added.
Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here .