Timing breakfast may be key to losing weight and staying healthy, according to Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at Imperial College London.
The British expert explained that, as most people nowadays tend to eat later in the evening, the first big meal of the next day should be delayed until after 11 in the morning. The professor gave a talk at the Science Festival in Cheltenham, United Kingdom, where he spoke about the benefits of this practice.
According to Spector, it is now customary to dine much later than previous generations used to and usually finish eating around 9pm (unusual until recently for British customs). For this reason, “breakfast at 11 am is the only way to achieve 14 hours of fasting”, an eating habit that, according to the expert, is healthier for metabolism and weight loss, since following the strategy for a few months could help people lose between 2 and 5 kilos.
This perfect time to lose weight can even “move” and approach noon (and turn breakfast into brunch) in those countries where dinner is usually finished at 10 at night, as is the case in many Latin American nations.
“I think we have to rethink all the things that we’ve been told are unhealthy, because there’s a lot of new science coming out. There are still people, particularly in the north of England, who eat earlier, but in general we have moved towards continental eating habits, eating much later like people in Spain and Italy,” the genetics expert told The Telegraph.
A small change in habits can make a difference in maintaining a healthy weight or losing a few extra pounds: “There is a simple change that people can make by changing their breakfast from 8 in the morning to 11 in the morning, which actually it’s more effective than newer fasting diets like 5:2,” Spector noted. The 5:2 diet, popular in the UK, involves eating normally for five days and then severely restricting calories for two days.
“Fasting for 14 hours a day and eating breakfast later, but eating the same amount, is easier to achieve in the long run. It works because the microbes in our gut have a circadian rhythm just like us and need a rest period,” Spector said.
“As a scientist, in recent years, I have focused all my energies on investigating the microbiome, the large community of microbes that live in our gut, skin, and body. Although the research is new and ongoing, we already know that these beings play a very important role in our health and in the current epidemics of obesity, diabetes, allergies, and even depression,” said the expert at the presentation of his latest book, El The diet myth: the real science behind what we eat.
The Imperial College London scientist has for years studied the Hadza tribe of modern hunter-gatherers living in Tanzania, Africa. This community does not suffer from obesity or type 2 diabetes. Among their different habits than modern urban populations, the tribe does not eat early breakfast food and its members tend to start eating between 10:30 or 11 every day.
During his talk, Spector differed from a long tradition among nutritionists and told the audience that the advice to start the day yes or yes with breakfast could be ignored. “Eating breakfast makes some people fat,” the expert said in his book Spoon-Fed: Why Almost Everything We’ve Been Told About Food Is Wrong. ). “We know from our studies that everyone is different, and some people respond differently to high-carbohydrate and high-fat breakfasts, so it’s important to understand that as well,” he concluded.
The ZOE app that was used to help track Covid is a company that Spector co-founded with other partners. Currently, in addition to monitoring coronavirus cases, it also offers to test people’s blood sugar, fats, and gut bacteria after they’ve eaten a serving of carbohydrates, so they can understand how certain foods affect them. .