It’s a common belief that eating your meals earlier in the day or eating during specific times can affect weight loss, but a new study has shown otherwise.
While weight loss – where you eat between two set hours in the day – has grown in popularity, it has no effect on your ability to shed the pounds.
The research is to be presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2020.
In the study, 41 overweight adults were looked at.
Of those taking part, 21 were asked to eat following a time restricted pattern.
Do you agree with the research? Tell us about it in the comments...
They ate at certain times and finished almost all food before 1pm in the afternoon.
The other 20 people ate at normal times within a 12 hour window – they ate half their daily calories after 5pm for 12 weeks.
Regardless of when the adults ate, both groups lost weight.
Study author Nisa M. Maruthur, M.D., M.H.S., associate professor of medicine, epidemiology and nursing at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore said "We have wondered for a long time if when one eats during the day affects the way the body uses and stores energy.
"Most prior studies have not controlled the number of calories, so it wasn't clear if people who ate earlier just ate fewer calories.
"In this study, the only thing we changed was the time of day of eating."
So, to lose weight you don’t need to scarf your main meal at breakfast and only eat salad for dinner.
The research may show that intermittent fasting works due to a placebo effect or because it gives dieters greater calorie control.
On the 5:2 diet, slimmers eat only 500 calories a day on two days out of seven.
Whereas on the 16:8 diet, they eat during an eight our window.
Supporters of the diet style say that it can trigger hormonal changes in the body which help with weight loss.