Meal times affect weight and calorie consumption. But what is the best time to eat dinner? Results in medical chronobiology
Dinner times in Italy vary from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. A two-hour interval, covering all possible nuances along the peninsula, with southern regions typically prefer to move dinner time a little further away. But is there an ideal time to eat dinner? Is it better to advance it or postpone it? New study He seems to have the answer to this question.
When is it best to eat dinner, according to science?
“We wanted to test the mechanisms that explain why late eating increases the risk of obesity,” explains Frank Scherr, director of the program. Medical chronobiologyAt the Brigham Department of Sleep and Circadian Disorders in Boston (USA). “Previous research has shown this Eating late is associated with an increased risk of obesityIncrease body fat and reduce weight loss. but why?”.
Ideal time for dinner: studying
The researchers invited 16 overweight patients, between the ages of 20 and 60, for follow-up Prescribed meal protocol After dividing them into two groups: one with meals served and the other with the same meals postponed for about 4 hours (for example, one group can eat at around 9:00, 13:00 and 17:00; the other group around 1.00 pm and 5.00 pm and 9.00 pm). All participants recorded their hunger and appetite. The researchers collected blood and adipose tissue samples and measurements of body temperature and energy expenditure.
What happens if you eat dinner later?
That was the discovery Sitting at the table later has profound effects on hunger and the hormones that regulate appetite: Levels of ghrelin, the hormone that increases appetite, were consistently higher when participants ate dinner later, which simultaneously suppressed levels of leptin, the hormone that causes satiety. This caused calories to burn at a slower rate and fat tissue to form more easily.
How does dinner time affect hunger?
“In this study, we asked whether the time we eat matters,” wrote Nina Vujovich, a researcher in the Department of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “And we found that Eating after 4 hours makes a huge difference in our hunger levelsAnd the way we burn calories after eating and the way we store fat.” According to the scientist, this is consistent with a large body of research that indicates that Eating later increases the risk of obesity.
Serve dinner ahead: Science says it’s better
In fact, other studies also suggest that anticipating dinner and keeping it light is usually a good idea: Analysis published on Obesity reviewsScientists examined data from 9 clinical trials involving 485 adults and found this Those who consume most of their calories early in the day lose more weight than those who do the opposite It shows improvement in blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity, which is an indicator of diabetes risk.
Because it’s better to serve dinner
According to scientists, the reason why an earlier dinner is better is simple: We are more sensitive to insulin early in the dayWhich means Our muscles are able to absorb and use glucose better From our bloodstream. But as the day goes on, we become less sensitive to insulin. At night, the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas become sluggish and less responsive to increased blood sugar.
It is best to avoid eating late at night
Another important factor is hormone-sensitive lipase, an enzyme that releases fat from our fat cells: it is usually more active at night, to provide the body with the energy needed to keep our organs working while we sleep. But according to Marta Garolet, a nutritionist at the University of Murcia (Spain), who interviewed her Washington Post, Eating late at night inhibits this enzyme, preventing the body from burning fat. “There is a big difference in this sense between people who eat dinner 4 hours before going to bed,” he admits. “And who eats dinner only an hour before going to bed.”
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