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(Photo: Weheartit.com)

By Cindy Kuzma for Prevention.com

Prevention

When it comes to weight loss, calories count—but so does the clock. People who eat their biggest meal earlier drop more pounds even when they follow similar diets, according to new research in the International Journal of Obesity.

Researchers studied 420 Spanish men and women participating in a 20-week weight loss program. The study protocol dictated their calorie count but not their meal timing. Half of them ate lunch—which accounts for about 40 percent of Spaniards’ daily intake—before 3 pm. The other half lunched later. The results: Delayed diners slimmed down more slowly and ended up shedding 9 percent of their body weight over the course of the study, compared with 11% for those who ate earlier. That’s about a 3.5-pound difference for people who started at 175.

Keep reading for more details on the study and tips on when to eat…

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