It matters also when you eat, not just how much you eat

It is not just how much calories you eat, but it also matters when you eat if you want to lose weight, says a study.

It has been established that the weight gain and loss are determined by what you eat, how much you eat, and by how much exercise you get. But a research done by Kevin Kelly, Owen McGuinness, Carl Johnson and colleagues of Vanderbilt University, USA showed that the timing of eating will also play crucial role.

Your daily biological clock and sleep regulate how the food you eat is metabolized; thus the choice of burning fats or carbohydrates changes depending on the time of day or night. Your body’s circadian rhythm has programmed your body to burn fat when you sleep, so when you skip breakfast and then snack at night you delay burning the fat.

The researchers monitored the metabolism of mid-aged and older subjects in a whole-room respiratory chamber over two separate 56-hour sessions, using a “random crossover” experimental design. It was found that the daily timing of nutrient availability, coupled with clock/sleep control of metabolism, flipped a switch in the subjects’ fat/carbohydrate preference such that the late-evening snack session resulted in less fat burned when compared to the breakfast session. The timing of meals during the day/night cycle therefore affects the extent to which ingested food is used versus stored.

This study has important implications for eating habits, suggesting that a daily fast between the evening meal and breakfast will optimize weight management.


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