Late night eaters are more likely to gain weight: study

New study supports the conventional notion of an early dinner being more healthy as the research suggests late night eaters are likely to consume more calories.

Late eaters

People who eat most of their calories after 6pm tend to have unhealthier diets and eat more overall, according to a study. Researchers said that late eaters were more likely to gain weight because they tend to let themselves get extremely hungry during the day.

This makes them more prone to binge eating, making bad food choices and eating junk food in the evening. Whereas those who consume their biggest meals earlier in the day are often too full to stuff their faces at night.

Late night eaters binge on more calories leading to higher overall count

For the latest study, researchers from Ulster University in Northern Ireland looked at more than 1,100 adults as part of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey. The nationwide survey began in 2008 and collects detailed information on the food consumption, nutrient intake and nutritional status.

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The volunteers – aged 19 to 64 – were quizzed about their meal timings and food choices. The researchers found those who ate 30 per cent or less of their food at night consumed less total calories overall than any group.

Whereas those who ate half of their calories at night were more likely to gain weight and consume food with little nutrition. Eating dinner late at night can lead to high blood sugar levels and put people at increased risk of being overweight, a study has found.

Late night eating is equal to higher blood sugar levels and lower fat burning

Scientists found that eating shortly before going to bed makes the body less able to process all the nutrients and glucose. As a result, people burn ten per cent less fat overnight if they eat at 10pm, compared to having their evening meal at 6pm.

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Researchers studied 20 healthy volunteers, ten men and ten women, to see how dinner time affected overnight digestion. The volunteers all went to bed at 11pm and their body’s metabolism was assessed throughout the night as they slept in a special laboratory-bedroom.

Activity trackers provided data on the individuals while blood sampling was done every hour throughout the night. Body fat scans were also performed and the participants were only fed food with specific labels that allowed scientists to track the rate of fat burning.

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All the data was crunched and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The study found that blood sugar levels were higher, and the amount of ingested fat burned was lower, if a person ate dinner just one hour before bed.

GVS News Desk

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