There’s more than calories to consider the next time you’re about to commit a midnight snack run with your sweetie. Researchers at Northwestern University found a link between eating during the hours your body thinks it should be sleeping and weight gain. Why does it matter when you munch? The body’s internal clock, aka circadian rhythm, may play a role in metabolism.
“We have found causal evidence that eating during the ‘wrong’ circadian time leads to weight gain in mice,” said lead researcher Deanna Arble, a doctoral candidate in Northwestern University’s Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology.
“While I do not believe the field is advanced enough to prescribe appropriate eating times for each individual, I believe we can at least say that humans should avoid eating during their normal sleeping phase because this could lead to increased weight gain,” she said.
Mice fed high-fat diets during their normal sleeping hours for six weeks gained 28 percent more weight than mice who chowed down during their normal waking hours. The sleepy eaters’ overall weight gain was also made up of more fat and they were less active than regular eaters. Continue Reading →