A study suggests that eating late may cause weight gain by increasing hunger and slowing metabolism – A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that eating late may cause weight gain by increasing hunger and slowing metabolism.
The study took two groups of participants, one with a normal sleep schedule and one with delayed sleep for eight hours each night. It found that when participants ate later in the day, their body levels of ghrelin were higher and levels of leptin were lower. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates appetite, while leptin is responsible for regulating appetite as well as energy expenditure and metabolism.
Eating high calorie foods later led to more weight gain even though they did not have different activity levels than those who had their daily routine sleep schedule!
Another study that was published on October 4 in Cell Metabolism suggests that the habit may alter metabolism, fat accumulation, and levels of hunger hormones. 16 overweight or obese adults participated in one of two six-day meal plans, with breakfast at 10 am, lunch at 2 pm, and dinner at 6 pm, and were observed by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Chicago. The other six-day meal plan had each meal scheduled four hours later. Other than that, the meals were the same.
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When other criteria like calories and ingredients were the same, the researchers sought to see if there was a variation in hunger and metabolism depending on when meals were consumed.
Throughout the tests, participants were asked to rate how hungry they felt, and researchers observed changes in hormone levels and caloric expenditure.
According to the research, they discovered that participants had lower levels of leptin, a hormone that signifies fullness after eating, and were twice as likely to experience hunger during the late-eating meal plan.
In addition, late diners consumed around 60 less calories daily than those who ate earlier in the day.
Additionally, they discovered that eating later in the day appeared to speed up cellular processes for fat storage and slow down those linked to fat burning. The study’s authors noted that further research is required to confirm the results, but they do show that eating later may be related to alterations in the cells that encourage the growth of fat tissue. According to the researchers, the results may help explain why earlier study has associated late-night eating to an increased risk of obesity.
“We asked in this study, ‘Does the time we eat matter when everything else is constant?'” Nina Vujovi, the study’s first author and a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, stated in a press release. “And we discovered that eating four hours later has a significant impact on our hunger levels, how we burn calories after eating, and how we store fat.”
However, because the study was small, the findings must be replicated with a larger group and a broader population, including more women, as they constituted less than half of the participants in the most recent study.
Researchers took into account other aspects of participants’ lifestyles, including total calorie intake, length of sleep, exposure to light, and quantity of exercise they received. However, they also acknowledged that many of these aspects could vary in a real-world setting.
It has been shown that insufficient sleep increases hunger and calorie intake, therefore eating later at night may be related to how much sleep a person gets. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, eating just before night does not always lead to weight gain.
The researchers of this study say that “these findings may help in designing interventions for weight management by reducing access to food during late hours”