Here's When You Should Eat Your Biggest Meal If You're Trying to Lose Weight

This study's findings might surprise you.

When you're trying to lose weight, you know it's important to keep track of how much food you eat. But did you know that when you eat your food might be just as important?

According to recent research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, focusing the majority of your attention (and calories) on one meal in particular may actually help you lose weight — and that's lunch.

In an October 2016 study, researchers asked 80 overweight and obese women to eat the majority of their day's calories at either lunch or dinner. After 12 weeks, the women who ate larger lunches not only lost more weight (an average of around 13 pounds compared to 10 pounds) but also lowered their blood sugar levels, and therefore also their diabetes risk, compared to those who ate huge dinners. Who would've thought?

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Now, the study was on the smaller side and more research needs to be done. But the findings do back up previous research from July 2013, which also found that overweight women lost more weight when they ate the majority of their calories earlier in the day.

Plus, the pros tend to agree with the new study's findings: Leslie Langevin, RD, of Whole Nutrition, for example, told POPSUGAR that shifting to a schedule in which lunch becomes your biggest meal might be just what you need to finally drop those pesky pounds. Specifically, she suggested eating 40 percent of your daily calories at lunch — meaning if you're following a 1,500-calorie diet, you would eat 600 calories for lunch and then divide up the rest of your daily allowance among breakfast, dinner, and snacks.

So there you have it! Research and experts agree that eating most of your calories in the middle of the day really does count when it comes to weight loss. And that's the perfect excuse to take a nice, long lunch break, is it not?

[h/t POPSUGAR]

More from Dr Oz The Good Life: