One of the major nutritional discoveries is that people are at their healthiest when they eat within a window of no more than 12 hours every day. The advantages rise when we reduce the 12 hours to, say, 6. The increasing popularity of fasting every day may be traced back to that revelation.
However, the second major conclusion is even more well-known: we are significantly healthier when we establish our eating period early in the day, especially when we eat from an hour or two after we get up until mid-afternoon. Most intermittent fasting participants miss breakfast, but scientific evidence suggests they would be better off not eating supper, or eating it no later than 3 p.m.
Researchers are discovering that if we make our evening meal the largest of the day, we’re placing ourselves on a road to illness and maybe even early death, so these findings have consequences even for individuals who don’t intermittent fast.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that those who ate their meals four hours apart had more hunger, slower calorie expenditure, and physical changes that encouraged fat gain. Cell Metabolism released the study results this week.
The same 16 obese individuals were split into two groups and given the option of eating their meals either earlier in the day or about four hours later. (A person in the early group may eat around 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m., whereas those in the latter group might eat around 1 p.m., 5 p.m., and 9 p.m.)
A record of participants’ hunger and consumption was kept. Some individuals gave blood samples, thermometer readings, and energy expenditure data, and fat tissue samples were taken.
It was shown that the probability of feeling hungry was increased by a factor of more than two if dinner was delayed. Participants’ levels of the fullness hormone leptin were lower when they ate later in the day, according to the study.
Genetic testing also revealed that eating later led to weight gain. According to the research, a decrease in calorie expenditure of around 60 occurred after dinner.