Eating Post Meal Time Causes Increased Hunger, Weight Gain And Decreased Metabolism

Many diet cliches advise against eating late at night, but research on the impact of this practise on all three players is scant. It was recently revealed by scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital, one of the original hospitals in the Mass General Brigham healthcare network, that the time of meals significantly affects our metabolic rate, appetite, and biochemical pathways in adipose tissue. The study's results were published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
Frank A. J. L. Scheer, PhD, Director of the Medical Chronobiology Program in the Brigham's Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, and the study's principal author, says, "We intended to examine the processes that may explain why late eating raises obesity risk." Previous research by ourselves and others has shown that eating in the evening raises the risk of obesity, boosts body fat, and thwarts weight loss efforts. That piqued our interest, of course.
Researcher in the Medical Chronobiology Program at the Brigham's Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders and lead author Dr. Nina Vujovic posed the question, "Does the time that we eat matter when everything else is kept consistent?" Our hunger levels, post-meal calorie expenditure, and fat storage all responded differently to meals that were spaced by four hours.
For three weeks prior to each lab visit, individuals were expected to adhere to rigorous sleeping regimens and eat identical foods on the same timetable. Participants maintained a consistent diet while in the lab and recorded their hunger levels, submitted frequent blood samples, and had their core body temperature and energy expenditure measured regularly. Multiple individuals' adipose tissue samples (the harmful fat that collects around our midsections) were also collected so that scientists could examine the effects of the varying eating schedules on gene expression in this tissue.
Cell Metabolism findings showed that a later eating schedule increased hunger and food cravings.
Cravings for starchy meals and meat in particular were found to increase by more than 100% when eating later, whereas cravings for salt increased by 80%.

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