Not only the amount of calories, but also the time of eating affects our weight. US researchers say: If you want to lose weight, it is better to avoid a late dinner just before bed.
When it comes to weight loss and dieting, many people have a simple theory: in order to do something for your body and lose weight, you should burn more calories than you consume. That is definitely not wrong either – but a research team now emphasizes in a study that was published in the “Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism”: The time of food consumption also determines whether we reach our desired weight. Those who eat late in the evening run the risk of putting on more fat. The blood sugar level also rises.
Late supper promotes obesity
Study author, Doctor Jonathan C. Jun, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, said the study wanted to investigate whether eating late actually promoted obesity. Corresponding reports are already available from other investigations – and this has now been confirmed. For their survey, Jun and her team were looking for 20 volunteers, including ten women and ten men. All test subjects were given the same food ration, all went to bed at 11 p.m. and had a similar sleep duration. The only difference in treatment: some were served dinner at 10 p.m., others at 6 p.m.
The subsequent examinations showed that those who ate later burned significantly less fat and the blood sugar level rose. Expressed in figures: the late eaters fell by around ten percent in terms of fat burning, and the blood sugar level even increased by 20. Chenjuan Gu, member of the research team, also emphasized: “The effects that we have seen in healthy volunteers could be be more pronounced in people with obesity or diabetes who already have an impaired metabolism. ” In other words: For them, eating late represents an even greater risk of being overweight and the resulting illnesses.
Fixed meal times can help process food better.
Fixed meal times help against obesity
If you want to lose weight, you should stick to fixed meal times and only consume calories within a time window of a maximum of eight hours. This allows you to lose excess weight in spite of large meals.
Does dinner really have to be the biggest meal of the day?
In connection with the results, Doctor Jun also makes it clear that many questions are still open. The negative effect of eating late is by no means always the same. People who are used to going to bed early and who usually start earlier with dinner would have suffered in particular. In contrast, no negative effects have so far been found in night owls who start eating at 2 or 3 a.m. Jun’s conclusion is therefore: “It is not a one-size-fits-all. There are differences in people’s metabolism that either make them more prone to eating late or do not bother them.”
According to the research team, the results of the study are relevant and reliable despite the relatively small number of participants. All subjects were closely monitored in their activities and blood values. The fact that for many people dinner is the most sumptuous and high-calorie meal should be reconsidered.