Eating earlier in the day can be beneficial for weight loss, new research suggests.
According to the study by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, people who eat later are hungrier during the day and have lower levels of serum leptin, the hormone that helps regulate body fat. Later eaters also burned fewer calories and had a lower core body temperature.
The researchers say that eating later actually changes gene expression in adipose tissue in favor of increased fat storage, which could predispose people to becoming obese. Based on the study, the researchers said that people who ate later in the day were twice as likely to feel hungry. They were also more likely to desire certain foods like starchy foods or meat.
To thoroughly test, the researchers had half the study group eat earlier in the day and half eat later. Both groups then switched places and tried the alternative eating protocol. The results were mirrored on both occasions, underlining the study findings.
Commenting on the study, Julie Palmer, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said that one main takeaway is that we feel hungrier when we wait to eat later in the day.
“When higher-calorie foods are more available to us later in the day … we’re more likely to overeat them,” said Palmer.
*Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay