Saturday, January 13, 2018

Late Night Eating And Weight Gain

The Study
Late night eating is considered a risk for weight gain. However, there has been little research published in this area. In this investigation, 110 college-aged men and women recorded all of their food intake with a time stamp so the hour of consumption could be accurately recorded. When compared to normal weight subjects, overweight subjects consumed significantly more of their calories 1 hour closer to melatonin onset, which was around 11 PM.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2017; 106:1213-19.

Take Home Message
This is a very interesting study. I have noticed for years that my clients who eat late at night don’t seem to lose much weight. The authors of this study were not quite sure why late night eating was associated with weight gain. One hypothesis is that the thermic effect of food decreases late at night. This would translate into more calories being available for fat storage in comparison to the same meal eaten earlier in the day.

Although this investigation is a cross-sectional study, which is considered a weaker form of evidence, I think there is something here. I always have my clients finish eating by 8:00 PM if they are trying to lose weight.  

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