You are currently viewing Eating late increases the tendency to store fat

Eating late increases the tendency to store fat

Obesity is a serious epidemic affecting an estimated 650 million adults worldwide, including 42% of the adult US population. [1].

obesity It is a major contributor to the global burden of chronic disease and disability, as it is It increases the risk of many health issues Including diabeticcardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and COVID-19 deaths [2].

For this reason, obesity prevention and treatment has been recognized as a global necessity.

Besides energy intake and exercise, a major factor known to contribute to obesity risk is the circadian timing system, which is tightly intertwined with energy metabolism. The effect of daily regimen and its interaction with eating time on metabolism has been demonstrated at the level of whole body physiology [3] And at the molecular level in fat cells [4].

Therefore, the daily timing of food intake has been suggested as a possible factor that may alter energy balance and act as a stimulus A major modifiable risk factor for obesity.

So one of the questions is about eating late at night. Is eating late harmful to you?

Few studies have comprehensively looked at the effects of late eating on body weight (obesity risk), regulation of calorie intake, the number of calories you burn, and molecular changes in adipose tissue.

To investigate these questions, a recent well-controlled study conducted a randomized crossover in vitro trial to simultaneously determine the effects of delayed meal timing on mechanisms involved in controlling energy intake, energy expenditure, and the molecular regulation of adipose tissue metabolism.

The aim was to find out the direct effect of meal timing, without any other confounding behavioral and environmental factors.

Therefore, this study was strictly controlled in terms of timing, quantity, and type of eating (total calories and nutritional composition), physical activity, posture, sleep, and light exposure. Although it is not the first randomized, crossover study to investigate the effect of delayed meal timing in relation to the control of energy balance, it is arguably the most comprehensive and controlled investigation.

Main findings

This research sheds some light on meal timing by showing that when we eat significantly affects our energy expenditure, appetite, and molecular pathways in adipose tissue.

Show eating more calories later in the evening:

  • Profound effects on hunger and appetite-regulating hormones (such as leptin) that increase our drive to eat more.
  • Calories are burned at a slower rate when we eat late at night.
  • This, in turn, increases fat storage gene expression and decreases fat burning, so we store more of those calories as fat!

In summary, this research provides strong evidence suggesting that eating later leads to decreased energy intake, increased hunger, and changes in adipose tissue that may collectively lead to an increased risk of obesity.

Keep in mind that this research was conducted on overweight or obese individuals, who were categorized by their higher body mass index (BMI).

It’s not clear if these same results were seen in leaner, more muscular individuals, but this study was very well done by controlling for several confounding variables.

It is very clear that subsequent eating has altered adipose gene expression. Therefore, the tendency to lipogenesis (i.e. fat storage) increases.

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1. Vujovic, N., et al., Delayed isogenic eating increases hunger, reduces energy expenditure, and alters metabolic pathways in overweight and obese adults. Cell Metab, 2022. 34 (10): p. 1486-1498 AH 7.
2. Clemmensen, C., M.B. Petersen, and TIA Sorensen, Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Exacerbate the Obesity Epidemic? Nat Rev Endocrinol, 2020. 16(9): p. 469-470.
3. Chellappa, SL, et al., Daytime eating prevents internal circadian misalignment and nighttime glucose intolerance. Sci Adv, 2021. 7 (49): p. IPAG 9910.
4. Arredondo-Amador, M., et al., Circadian rhythms in hormone-sensitive lipase in human adipose tissue: relationship with meal timing and fasting duration. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2020. 105 (12).

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