(AscendHealthy.com) – Diet can be a difficult balancing act. From a scientific standpoint, the overall goal is to typically eat fewer calories than you burn while providing the body with adequate nutrition. But it isn’t always just about what you eat or even how much of it you take in; when you choose to eat also matters. Find out why in this article.
Timing the Diet for Weight Loss
Some people may find that no matter how diligent they are about counting each calorie, those stubborn extra pounds don’t seem willing to come off. According to science, the real problem might actually be when they’re sitting down to eat.
A recent study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism showed that mealtime scheduling can make or break a person’s diet.
The study recruited 20 volunteers (10 males and 10 females), all of whom were around 26 years old and had a bedtime falling between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. The two-night investigation had volunteers eat the same dinner at two different times: 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Researchers took blood samples from all participants across both nights and into the next morning, measuring glucose, insulin levels, triglycerides, cortisol and a few other metabolic markers.
What they found was surprising: eating a later dinner slowed metabolism by an average of 10%. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) released a statement shortly afterward indicating that effects may be even greater in people who suffer from obesity, diabetes or other metabolic issues.
Other Potential Benefits
Average blood results varied significantly between the two nights. Peak blood glucose was 18% higher when participants ate at 10:00 p.m. This and other markers indicated that eating late might be correlated with a higher risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Similar studies have found diabetes to be an additional risk.
The benefits of eating earlier meals could be the result of natural metabolic shifts that occur throughout the day. The body is most effective at processing what we eat in the morning; digestion becomes far more sluggish after 6:00 p.m.
But this isn’t the case for everyone. Other studies suggest the involvement of a genetic component, meaning that only about 44% of the population can benefit from having dinner at an earlier time. Unless you have access to genetic testing — you’ll want to test for the “T” variant in gene PLIN1 — the only way to find out whether it works for you is to give it a try and see what happens.
Finding the right system for you might take some trial and error, but that final puzzle piece to your ideal diet could be as simple as changing your dinner time. Try shifting your meals so that you eat no later than 6:00 each night. As always, be sure to check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet, especially if you’re diabetic.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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