A recent study suggests that eating late leads to decreased energy expenditure, increased hunger and changes in fatty tissue when combined contribute to obesity.
Midnight snacks are said to be unhealthy, but there are actually few studies on their effects on regulating calorie intake, calories burned, and molecular changes in body fat on weight regulation. body and the risk of obesity. This small study published in Cell metabolism conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital provided evidence that eating late at night increases hunger, decreases energy expenditure and causes changes in fatty tissue which, combined, may increase the risk of obesity.
In Americaapproximately 42% of the adult population lives with obesity, and obesity is well documented contribute to the onset of serious chronic diseases including diabetes and cancer among others. Now, research indicates that the time you eat affects how the body stores fat and regulates appetite hormones.
“We wanted to test the mechanisms that may explain why eating late increases the risk of obesity,” explained lead author Frank AJL Scheer, Ph.D., director of the medical chronobiology program in Brigham’s Division of Sleep and Disorders. circadians. “Previous research by us and others has shown that eating late is associated with an increased risk of obesity, increased body fat and reduced weight loss. We wanted to understand why.
“In this study, we asked, ‘Does the time we eat matter when everything else is consistent?'” said first author Nina Vujovic, Ph.D., a researcher in the Medical Chronobiology Program at the Brigham’s division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders. “And we found that eating four hours later made a significant difference to our hunger levels, the way we burn calories after eating, and the way we store fat.”
Participants in this study had an overweight or obese BMI, and they completed two lab protocols either with strictly scheduled early meals or with the exact same meal but timed to be eaten four hours later. During the last 2-3 weeks before the start of each of the protocols, participants maintained fixed sleep/wake schedules, and during the last 3 days before entering the lab, they strictly followed diets and identical meal times at home.
While in the lab, participants documented hunger and appetite, provided blood samples, as well as tests to examine body temperature and energy expenditure. Additionally, adipose tissue biopsies were collected to measure the impact of mealtime on the molecular pathways of adipogenesis during laboratory testing in both feeding protocols to compare gene expression between the two feeding protocols. two feeding conditions.
According to researchers, eating later has profound effects on leptin and ghrelin, the hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. Leptin levels decreased over the 24 hours in the late-eating group compared to the early-eating group who had more feelings of fullness. Late eaters also burned calories at a slower rate and exhibited adipose tissue gene expression of increased adipogenesis and reduced lipolysis that promotes fat growth.
The researchers suggest that their findings convey converging physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying the correlation between eating late and increased risk of obesity, and the findings may help shed light on how eating later may increase this risk. .
By using a randomized crossover study and tightly controlling environmental and behavioral factors, the researchers were able to detect changes in the various systems involved in energy balance.
“This study shows the impact of late eating compared to early eating. Here, we isolated these effects by controlling for confounding variables such as calorie intake, physical activity, sleep, and exposure to light, but in real life many of these factors may themselves be influenced by mealtimes,” Scheer said. “In larger-scale studies, where tight control of all these factors is not If not, we need to at least consider how other behavioral and environmental variables alter these biological pathways underlying obesity risk. ”
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice. please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine.
This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.