Eating late in the day may result in burning fewer calories

If you have a habit of eating dinner late in the day, you may be burning less fat than you would if you ate at an earlier hour, according to a new study. This isn’t merely an issue of weight loss, however, with the researchers finding that late-day eating may also increase one’s risk of developing metabolic dysfunction and type-2 diabetes.

A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism details how eating dinner late in the day may lead to high blood sugar and weight gain. The results build upon past studies that found a link between metabolic issues and eating at too late of an hour, this time shedding like on why the two are connected.

In this case, a late dinner is determined based on when the person goes to bed — someone who goes to bed at 10PM would need to eat earlier in the day than someone who goes to bed at midnight, for example. The study focused on 20 adults who had a bedtime of 11PM.

Using various methods, including blood sampling and body fat scans, researchers monitored the effects of eating dinner at 6PM and 10PM. In the case of the later dinner, the participants experienced higher blood sugar levels and burned less fat compared to when they ate at an earlier hour. This impact as found when participants consumed the same meal at both times.

Study first author Chenjuan Gu, MD, Ph.D., explained:

On average, the peak glucose level after late dinner was about 18 percent higher, and the amount of fat burned overnight decreased by about 10 percent compared to eating an earlier dinner. The effects we have seen in healthy volunteers might be more pronounced in people with obesity or diabetes, who already have a compromised metabolism.

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