Late-night meals are particularly bad for weight gain: Study |  Health and fitness

Late-night meals are particularly bad for weight gain: Study | Health and fitness

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Your penchant for midnight snacks has caused you to gain weight over the years, and now researchers have a better understanding of why.

While eating late at night has long been associated with an increased risk of obesity, researchers aren’t sure exactly how it causes weight gain just yet.

“When meals are delayed by four hours and everything remains the same, you burn fewer calories, increase food cravings, and experience changes in adipose tissue that promote weight gain,” said study author Frank Sher. He’s director of the Medical Chronobiology Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a professor at Harvard Medical School.

The solution? He said eat early in the day.

“The new data, along with previous literature, suggest that eating earlier in the waking day leads to changes in physiology that promote weight loss and limit weight gain,” Scheer said.

for the study, 16 overweight or obese people adhered to a strict schedule of early and late meals for one day each in the lab. In the weeks leading up to each trial, the subjects maintained consistent sleep schedules. They also eat identical meals and stick to the same meal times at home.

Participants reported their hunger and appetite, provided blood samples throughout the day, and measured their body temperature and calorie use. The researchers also collected samples of fatty tissue.

In addition to feeling hungry, burning fewer calories, and the appearance of changes in adipose tissue, eating later also affected hunger and the hormones that regulate appetite, leptin and ghrelin. Ghrelin is the “going” hormone that tells you when to eat, and leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop. The study showed that the hormone leptin decreased by 16% when people ate four hours later.

Due to the study’s design, the researchers were able to tightly control exercise, sleep, and exposure to light, which may affect the number of calories participants burn.

Sher said more research is needed to see if these findings hold true in real life.

“In the real world, when people change meal times, they may also change other behaviors such as timing, quality, bedtime or the amount of exercise they do, which may affect weight,” he said.

The study was published October 4 in the journal cell metabolism.

Dr. Louis Aaron, director of the Comprehensive Center for Weight Control at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian in New York City, reviewed the results. He said: When you eat, it is important to control weight.

“It has been shown that eating all the calories early in the day reduces weight,” Aron said. “This study… demonstrates that eating the same number of calories later rather than early can lead to mechanisms that lead to weight gain.”

He noted that many late eaters eat little or nothing for breakfast. “You might not feel hungry in the morning because you eat so much at bedtime,” Aaron said.

his advice? “Try to shift your food to earlier in the day [eating] A bigger breakfast and lunch to reduce appetite at night.”

Eating earlier isn’t necessarily a panacea, said Marion Nestle, a retired professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. Weight lossBut it may be useful for some people.

“This study indicates that eating late at night changes Metabolism of people are overweight in ways that make losing weight more difficult for them,” said Nestle, who also reviewed the study results.

“Most research on the issue of meal timing says that it doesn’t really matter, [but] What matters, she said, is the total amount eaten in relation to calorie expenditure. “People who are trying to lose weight need to know how to do it in ways that work for them, [and] Not eating late at night is worth a try.”

more information

Advance Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Healthy ways to lose weight.

SOURCES: Frank Sher, PhD, MA, director, Clinical Chronological Biology Program, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Louis Aaron, MD, director, Center for Comprehensive Weight Control, Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Presbyterian, New York City; Marion Nestle, Ph.D., Master of Public Health, Professor Emeritus, Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, New York University, New York City; cell metabolismOctober 4, 2022

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