Study Finds Link Between Eating Late And Risk Of Weight Gain

As per the researchers, eating late in the night increases the risk of obesity and weight gain.

Written by: Tanya Srivastava Updated at: 2022-10-12 19:02

Doctors and nutritionists have been telling in time and again that one should not eat right before going to bed. However, one should also not eat late in the night, according to a recent study. It has been said that when we eat late at night, we're going against our body's circadian rhythm.

As per the researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, eating late in the night increases the risk of obesity and weight gain. The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism. The analysis of the study revealed  that the time when a person eats their last meal impacts the energy expenditure, appetite and how the body stores fat.

A total of 16 participants were studied with the body mass index or BMI that is of the obese range or considered overweight. Every one was given the same meals post which they were asked to go for two lab protocols viz-z-viz an early meal and another with each meal scheduled 250 minutes late.

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The team of researchers found that eating late had an exponential impact on the regulation of hunger hormones. The levels of leptin inhibits the human appetite. They were reduced across the period of 24 hours during late eating. It was observed that eating late doubled the odds of being hungry. When participants ate later, they burned calories at a much slower rate. 

In a press release the first author Nina Vujovic, PhD, a researcher in the Medical Chronobiology Program in the Brigham’s Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders said, “In this study, we asked a simple question, ‘Does the time that we eat matter when everything else is kept consistent?' and we found that eating four hours later makes a major difference for the hunger levels, the way calories burn after we eat, and the way our body store fat.



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