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  • Is there a downside to eating late at night, besides getting crumbs in your bed?

  • Hey there science cravers, Julian here for DNews. A lot of diet fads are very specific about what you should eat,

  • but hardly any of them talk about when you should eat.

  • That’s because for years now the conventional wisdom has basically been that

  • the overall number of calories you eat versus how many you burn is what’s important.

  • But a few studies have challenged this idea. One in 2013 published in the International Journal of Obesity

  • followed 420 obese or overweight adults who were trying to lose weight over 20 weeks.

  • Those who ate their largest meal before 3PM on average lost almost 2 kg more than those who ate after,

  • even if caloric intake and amount of exercise was the same.

  • But why should that be the case?

  • Well, it’s possible the same meal may be treated differently depending on where your body is in it’s circadian rhythm.

  • Yes, the 24 hour cycle that we usually just associate with our sleep schedule also has an effect on how our bodies absorb and digest food.

  • So, eating out of our normal rhythm can contribute to weight gain

  • according to Kelly Allison of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Center for Weight and Eating Disorders.

  • Wow, that is one bloated title.

  • So what’s causing us to eat out of our regular rhythms? Society, man.

  • The way we work has caused a sort of social jet lag, where the time we have available to eat

  • doesn’t match the time it would be most ideal to eat.

  • Were skipping breakfast more, and our meal times are becoming irregular as we focus on getting work done or picking up the kids from school.

  • We may actually be intentionally fighting the circadian rhythm,

  • when it causes cortisol and adrenaline to drop off around 3 PM. To stave off the sleepiness

  • some of us indulge in something high in sugar or fat.

  • According to Pamela Peeke, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine,

  • this will raise our insulin levels and well crave sugar later.

  • Our circadian rhythm is at odds with our modern lifestyle in other ways too.

  • When we first evolved, food wasn’t readily available in refrigerators when we woke up.

  • So, it’s possible that as the day progresses, the food we eat is more apt to turn into fat.

  • So, the next day we have a convenient reserve of energy and we don’t have to worry about our first meal.

  • That’s the hypothesis of Steven Shea, director of the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences.

  • Shea also noticed in his research that people tend to be hungrier later in a day,

  • possibly as part of this evolutionary adaptation. Combine that with the fact that since artificial light

  • we stay up later than ever and now have ready access to food, and the result is some people can’t resist a late night bite.

  • Furthermore, if you are grabbing food late at night, youre more likely to make an unhealthy choice.

  • You might do it out of convenience, because it’s easier to grab a bag of chips than make a salad,

  • or you might do it out of mental exhaustion. If youve spent the whole day on your best dietary behavior,

  • late at night youre more willing to let yourself slip,

  • or even reward yourself with something fatty, salty, sweet, and delicious.

  • Even the researchers who study this admit that chrononutrition is an underexplored topic, with few studies done so far and many of them relying on mice.

  • While the studies weve cited point to a link between late day eating and weight gain, plenty of others support the orthodox view that net calorie count is the most important factor.

  • Once again more research is needed.

  • I just hope it involves cake.

  • If you love food science and food in general click here now to check out our friends over at Eater.

  • So, sort of two strategies to reduce sodium intake. One would be to find a substitute enhancer. Another would be to ship the population down.

  • There is no molecule that tastes purely salty other than sodium chloride. And, another one lithium chloride,

  • but lithium chloride poison, so that is not a good salt substance. So, have you tried shifting your caloric intake to earlier in the day? How did that work out for you?

  • Let us know in the comment. Subscribe for more. And, I will see you next time on DNews.

Is there a downside to eating late at night, besides getting crumbs in your bed?

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Is Eating Late At Night Really That Bad For You?

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    陳思源 posted on 2016/08/09
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