Can eating later in the day contribute to weight gain?
A new study suggests eating later in the day may contribute to weight gain. Previous studies have suggested that later timing of eating and sleeping are related to obesity, but it hasn’t been clear whether eating later in the day was associated with shorter sleep duration – with a possible impact on weight – or higher body fat. So, this study set out to examine the question.
Using technology to record participants’ sleep, physical activity and eating patterns, the week-long study included 31 overweight and obese adults with an average age of 36. Ninety percent were women. Interestingly, they were also enrolled in an ongoing weight-loss trial comparing daily caloric restrictions to time-restricted feeding, meaning they could only eat during certain hours of the day.
The researchers found that on average, participants consumed food throughout an 11-hour timeframe during the day and slept for about 7 hours a night. People who ate later in the day slept at a later time, but they slept for about the same amount of time as those who finished eating earlier. Later meal timing was associated with a higher body mass index as well as greater body fat.
While it seems intuitive that eating later in the day may contribute to obesity, this study seems to confirm it. However, it would be interesting to carry out a study where the later consumption was of real food and/or was tied to a much longer fast, with a one meal a day protocol.
Make eating real food Just Routine