Are you a habitual late night eater? New research may have you changing your ways. A study from Harvard set out to find out if the time we eat matters when everything else stays consistent. And it finds that eating late at night raises the risk of obesity by slowing your metabolism, but the effects don’t stop there. It can make you hungrier the next day as well.
Participants who ate their last meal at 10pm burned fewer calories the next day and had higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, which makes us crave food, compared to those who dined at 6pm, the study shows. The late eaters also had lower levels of the hormone leptin, which makes us feel full and satisfied after meals. And when they ate later, participants also burned calories more slowly and tissue samples showed more fat growth.
While participants were in the lab for the study, researchers controlled environmental factors that can influence appetite or energy expenditure, like exercise, posture, sleep and exposure to light. Senior study author Dr. Frank Scheer, an expert in sleep and circadian disorders, explains that they isolated the effects of late versus early eating by controlling for variables like caloric intake, physical activity, sleep and light exposure, but he says, “In real life, many of these factors may be themselves influenced by meal timing.” While four hours might not seem like that much time, study authors conclude it makes a “significant difference” for our hunger levels, the way we burn calories after we eat and the way we store fat.
Source: Daily Mail