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Eating Late Causes You To Gain Weight

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Many are concerned about the effects of eating late at night, especially when it comes to their weight. Your circadian rhythm – the times you tend to feel energized and sleep, play an important role in your ability to lose weight according to new research. The time of day your food is eaten is more crucial to weight loss than the amount of calories ingested than originally thought.


Besides affecting weight, researchers believe the time you eat affects your circadian rhythms and may be the reason dietary habits impact weight and your lifespan. The study reinforced this idea by testing the day and night cycles of mice under different feeding schedules to show the effects of eating late at night.

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Eating A Late Meal Can Make You Gain Weight

The Negative Effects Of Eating Late At Night

According to the study at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and published in Cell Metabolism, mice on a reduced calorie plan that ate only during their active time, or normal feeding cycle were the only ones among five groups of mice to lose weight, despite consuming the same amount as another group fed during their inactive time in daylight.

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"It has been known for decades that caloric restriction prolongs lifespan in animals, but these types of studies are very difficult to conduct because they required manual feeding of subjects over many years. Therefore, shortcuts were taken in order to deal with practical matters such as the normal Monday-to-Friday work week," said Dr. Takahashi, holder of the Loyd B. Sands Distinguished Chair in Neuroscience.

Dieting Is Only Effective If You Eat During The Day

"Translated into human behavior, these studies suggest that dieting will only be effective if calories are consumed during the daytime when we are awake and active. They further suggest that eating at the wrong time at night will not lead to weight loss even when dieting," said Dr. Joseph S. Takahashi, Chairman of Neuroscience at UT Southwestern's Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute and Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Related: 8 Incredible Mindful Eating Hacks To Help You Lose Weight

Timing of Food Intake Desynchronizes Sleep Patterns

Two groups of mice that were fed against their circadian rhythms -- with a 30 percent less calories and others with unlimited food access during the day - remained active at night, suggesting chronic sleep deprivation.

It is an especially important factor for researchers to consider the effects of eating late at night for future research, because most calorie-reduction studies involve only eating during the day, which is the wrong time for otherwise nocturnal mice. Without accounting for the timing of food intake, research that examines the effects of calorie reduction on lifespan may be skewed by hidden factors such as lack of sleep and desynchronization of circadian rhythms.



I agree as my most successfully weight loss days were those when I stopped eating anything after 6:30 PM. No matter what I would stop eating at 6:30 PM and you could see a noticeable change after 15-20 days. Slow weight loss, but you could maintain it. Around the 20th day I felt more energy.