By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Do you think you could squeeze all of your eating into a 6-hour window? A new study published in the journal Obesity says doing just that may help you lose weight.

Intermittent fasting can help some people lose weight, but this is the first study to show how the timing of your meals can affect your metabolism.

Researchers studied 11 overweight men and women and found that eating three meals over a six-hour period, specifically between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., was associated with a lower production of a hunger hormone, improvements in appetite, and higher fat-burning over a 24-hour period. However, it did not affect the number of calories burned overall.

Experts say this study shows again that the key to weight management may not just be what you eat but your pattern of eating as well.

Dr. Mallika Marshall