Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day but do you know when to eat it?

According to scientists "time-restricted feeding" could be the best way to go about dropping a size.

New research has found that small changes to when you eat meals could help to reduce body fat.

Intermittent fasting might just be the way forward for those looking to shed a few pounds, The Mirror Online reports.

But what is it? And when you should eat if you want to lose weight?

A pilot study by the University of Surrey investigated what the impact of changing meal times has on dietary intake and body composition.

And researchers found that "time-restricted feeding" - a form of intermittent fasting - proved beneficial for those wanting to lose weight.

This involves delaying your breakfast by 90 minutes and have dinner 90 minutes earlier.

According to scientists intermittent fasting could be the best way to lose weight

Led by Surrey university's Reader in Chronobiology and Integrative Physiology, Dr Jonathan Johnston, the research involved a number of participants over the course of a 10-week study.

They were split into two groups - those who were required to delay their breakfast by 90 minutes and have their dinner 90 minutes earlier, and those who ate meals as they would normally.

Participants were required to provide blood samples and complete diet diaries before and during the 10-week intervention and complete a feedback questionnaire immediately after the study.

However, unlike previous studies on the same topic, those taking part weren't asked to stick to a strict diet and could eat freely, provided it was within a certain eating window.

This, Johnston said, helped the researchers assess whether this type of diet was easy to follow in everyday life.

The study found that those who changed their mealtimes lost on average more than twice as much body fat as those in the control group, who ate their meals as normal.

Delaying when you eat breakfast could help you shed pounds, a new study has found

Although there were no restrictions on what participants could eat, researchers found that those who changed their mealtimes ate less food overall than the control group

This result was supported by a questionnaire which as completed by the participants after the study.

It found that 57 percent of those taking part noted a reduction in food intake either due to reduced appetite, decreased eating opportunities or a cutback in snacking, particularly in the evenings.

"Although this study is small, it has provided us with invaluable insight into how slight alterations to our meal times can have benefits to our bodies," said Johnston.

"Reduction in body fat lessens our chances of developing obesity and related diseases, so is vital in improving our overall health."

Johnston also explained that if these pilot data can be repeated in larger studies, there is potential for time-restricted feeding to have broad health benefits.

"We are now going to use these preliminary findings to design larger, more comprehensive studies of time-restricted feeding," he added.