A nutrition expert has revealed that the key to losing weight and staying healthy may lie in how you eat your morning meal.
Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London, said breakfast should be delayed until after 11am because people tend to eat later into the evening. Professor Spector, who co-created the Zoe app which traces the spread of Covid in the community, appeared at the Cheltenham Science Festival, Wales Online reports.
He told his audience in the Gloucestershire spa town: "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.”
Professor Spector explained that because people can be eating as late as 9pm, the best way for people to fast for 14 hours overnight is to have breakfast at 11am. This is based on evidence that suggests a 14-hour fast is extremely healthy for the body's metabolism.
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." He stressed that having breakfast at 11am is "more effective" than the 5:2 diet.
This trending diet sees people 'fast' for two days on a calorie-restrictive diet and eat normally for five. Professor Spector pointed to the fact that microbes in our gut have a 24-hour "circadian rhythm like us" and needs its rest.
Therefore, people who have 14 hours of fasting with a later breakfast could end up losing between four and 11 pounds over several months, according to the expert. He added: “Their microbes essentially become more efficient at burning food.”
Professor Spector is not the only expert to recommend a 14-hour fast. Dr Sara Kayat appeared on ITV's This Morning to also promote the diet.
She 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.