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Clinical Trial Summary

This weight loss study will investigate the impact of calorie distribution across a day (large breakfast meals and smaller evening meals versus small breakfast meals and large evening meals) on body weight, and physiological and behavioral mechanisms regulating energy balance.

Participants will undergo 2 x 4 week energy restriction protocols in a randomized cross over design; big breakfast (45% of calories in the morning meal, 20% at dinner) and big dinner (45% of calories in the evening meal, 20% at breakfast). We predict that timing of eating will influence energy balance, because morning energy expenditure is amplified in comparison to the evening. This study will allow us to assess whether the increased energy expenditure in the morning is linked to natural biological circadian rhythm or behavioral adaptions.


Clinical Trial Description

Dietary advice for weight management is broadly based on the assumption that a 'calorie is a calorie' and it does not matter when calories are consumed across the day. Recent evidence has challenged this assumption, suggesting that we may utilize calories more efficiently when consumed in the morning relative to the evening, and this could be used as a beneficial strategy for weight loss - this is a newly developing field of investigation which merges circadian biology with nutrition (chrono-nutrition).

Timing of food consumption is a modifiable factor influencing energy balance and body weight (and thus, disease risk). Previous research has shown that calories ingested at different times of the day have different effects on energy utilization, leading to differential weight loss, even at iso-caloric amounts. This study will aim to increase our understanding of the underlying behavioral and physiological mechanisms associated with differential weight loss and energy balance when calories are consumed predominantly in the morning versus in the evening.

This study will be a cross-over study comparing large breakfast versus large evening meals (percent daily calories split between breakfast, lunch and dinner as 45-35-20 (breakfast-loaded) or 20-35-45 (evening-loaded)) during energy restriction (Fed to measured RMR) on energy balance, through differences in both physiological and behavioural changes in energy expenditure and substrate utilization. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT03305237
Study type Interventional
Source University of Aberdeen
Contact Leonie C Ruddick-Collins, PhD
Phone +44 (0)1224 438752
Email leonie.ruddickcollins@abdn.ac.uk
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date October 24, 2017
Completion date June 2020

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