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Calorie Count Blog

Eating After Dark


By Mary_RD on Oct 14, 2010 10:00 AM in Dieting & You
Edited By +Rachel Berman

Few of us (shift workers excepted) realize the degree to which our sleeping patterns affect our weight.  But this week, a well-designed study shed some light on how the absence of darkness while we sleep may contribute to weight gain, at least in mice.  It may be that "a calorie is not always a calorie" when the biological clock is upset by exposure to light.  Or, perhaps, the time when food is eaten may be more important than was previously thought.

Staying Up Late

With the invention of the light bulb at the start of the 20th century, humans became exposed to unnatural light at night.  Now, besides staying up after nightfall, people commonly fall asleep with lights on from TVs, computers, other gadgets, and outdoor lights.  Dr. Laura Fonken and her colleagues at Ohio State University wondered if there was a parallel between rising obesity rates and levels of light at night, and so they designed a series of experiments to test that hypothesis.  The results were reported in the October 11, 2010 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Weight Gain and Sleep

The scientists exposed three groups of mice to different light cycles.  Group-1 was exposed to 16 hours of bright light and 8 hours of darkness; Group-2 was exposed to 24 hours of bright light; Group-3 was exposed to 16 hours of bright light and 8 hours of dim light.  The three groups of mice ate the same amount of food and got the same amount of exercise, but the mice in Groups-2 and -3 gained almost 50 percent more weight than the mice in Group-1 and they experienced a rise in blood sugar too.  The dim illumination was akin to having a portable TV in a bedroom.

Eating Instead of Sleeping

The researchers noticed that the mice exposed to light ate more than half of their calories during normal sleeping hours, and so they went back to the lab to control the time when the mice ate.  The three groups of mice were exposed to the same differing light cycles, but the time when they ate was controlled. It turned out that the mice in Groups-2 and -3 did not gain weight when their mealtimes were restricted to normal activity hours.  What mattered more than light was timing of meals.  


The bottom line: 
It is much too soon to extrapolate the results of these studies to humans, but it is interesting to think about whether weight gain and glucose control is related to when calories are consumed.  Light probably disrupts the biological clock, and when that's combined with nighttime eating, weight gain and blood sugar problems may ensue.  Make eating after the sun goes down an exception and not the rule.


Your thoughts…

Are you concerned about eating after night fall?



Comments


I work shift work and have a hard time figuring out when to post my calories.  I allow myself 200 extra calories a day when I work 12 hour shifts.  This is fine when I work days but when I work nights do I count my 3 oclock snack in the previous day or the next?  If I count it the day before I either have a hard time staying in my calorie allotment (unless I really sleep in) or I end up hungry.  Then the next day I can't reach my calorie goal.  If I count it for the following day I end up consuming too much sugar and not enough protein since I save my sugary treat for a "bedtime" snack.  I have been doing this for about 6 months and often post either way depending on how it looks better.  Any suggestions from experienced shift workers?



The sun goes down at 4pm in the winter... On Skye during my vacation in the summer, I could still see the sun at 1am. So not eating after sundown can be problematic.



In spite of what I've read prior to this article about it not mattering when calories are consumed, for me it does.  I can pretty much eat whatever I want before 5 pm and not gain weight.

I don't know if its the light itself, or the fact that you burn the calories before you go to bed when you don't eat during the night time hours. That makes the most sense.

An interesting study, for sure.

 



Original Post by: jenniferar

I work shift work and have a hard time figuring out when to post my calories.  I allow myself 200 extra calories a day when I work 12 hour shifts.  This is fine when I work days but when I work nights do I count my 3 oclock snack in the previous day or the next?  If I count it the day before I either have a hard time staying in my calorie allotment (unless I really sleep in) or I end up hungry.  Then the next day I can't reach my calorie goal.  If I count it for the following day I end up consuming too much sugar and not enough protein since I save my sugary treat for a "bedtime" snack.  I have been doing this for about 6 months and often post either way depending on how it looks better.  Any suggestions from experienced shift workers?


I start my new caloric day when I wake up from sleep, I don't go by date/time.  When I wake up, the new day begins, when I go to bed for my 'nightly' sleep, that day is over.



"... ate the same amount of food and got the same amount of exercise"

So the calories of the thinner mice went where? 



How would the energy input in the form of light/heat equate to the calorific value of the fat in the weight gain mice?



i work 12-12 shifts .. i usually manage fine on days (though it takes alot of self control not to munch when i start getting tired at about 9-10 and sometimes i fail horribly)

on nights, i have no appetite to eat properly all night, seem to have more appetite to snack than to eat main meals ... and by 12pm after shift im super hungry and sometimes end up putting everything i can get my hands on into my mouth :(

havent figured out how to get around it yet ..



okay - a winter of starvation coming up then. sun up at 9, and down at 4.



Original Post by: pinkdalmation

i work 12-12 shifts .. i usually manage fine on days (though it takes alot of self control not to munch when i start getting tired at about 9-10 and sometimes i fail horribly)

on nights, i have no appetite to eat properly all night, seem to have more appetite to snack than to eat main meals ... and by 12pm after shift im super hungry and sometimes end up putting everything i can get my hands on into my mouth :(

havent figured out how to get around it yet ..


12-12.  That would be really hard.  At least my 6-6 days are somewhat "normal".  For night I would suggest high density nutritious snacks and for days low-density food that will keep you full.  My problem at night too is I have a lot of down time and it would be easy to eat out of boredom thought I don't actually usually feel very hungry until I start eating.  I also have a kitchen I can "raid". Trouble!



This is interesting data.  My mother always said, no snacking after dinner (supper).  She was born in 1907, so it was considered an "old wives tale" for a while.  It is interesting to see that there is actual research backing up her advice.



Original Post by: frisasu

How would the energy input in the form of light/heat equate to the calorific value of the fat in the weight gain mice?


Sometime weight gain has nothing to do with caloric intake. Hormones, stress levels, emotional issues, sleep patterns, the frequency and ability to have bowel movements all affect weight fluctuations and gain. Just because the subjects got the same calories and exercise, doesnt mean that they COULNT gain weight.



 I have found that when eating the same calories, even the same foods, and getting the same excercise, that when I have the last meal of the day before 8pm I lose more weight than when I eat supper later.  Is it because that after 8pm I don't get much excercise or maybe that as I am then hungrier in the mornings I have more of my calorie intake earlier in the day ie larger breakfast?  Maybe someone could do a bit more research on this? 



It can be tricky for sure, I just try to consume the same meal schedule for when I am on days so if its my first night back to work then I eat lunch a little later and supper usually around 8 or 9. I am ususally hungry for breakfast around 4 or 5 and so I usually eat my breakfast at work and just go straight to bed when I get home that seems to work for me. I just keep healthy snacks around like fruit or popcorn so if I am tempted in between I don;t get too crazy.



...or maybe it's the stress caused by lack of proper sleep that leads them to gain more weight.



"The bottom line:  It is much too soon to extrapolate the results of these studies to humans, but it is interesting to think about whether weight gain and glucose control is related to when calories are consumed.  Light probably disrupts the biological clock, and when that's combined with nighttime eating, weight gain and blood sugar problems may ensue.  Make eating after the sun goes down an exception and not the rule."

 

So, one sentence later was soon enough? 

It's an interesting study but all it does is so that there is a correlation between eating time and weight gain.  Correlation != causation.  More research has to be done of course.



I really think people should do what is best for their bodies, not what some anonymous researcher/physician has decided is the best for us by experimenting with mice.  What you eat still is more important than when you eat.  If you consistently eat a whopper after sundown or late at night, odds are you'll gain weight (unless you are like my fiance who has a super fast metabolism).

I know that obesity is a huge epidemic in this country, but instead of funding tests on when we should eat, how about putting that funding towards educating people on making healthier choices.  Put the money towards making quality foods more available/affordable and then maybe we wouldn't be so tempted to buy off the late night dollar menu.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" - Benjamin Franklin



This is nonsense.  I lived in Spain for two years and the Spanish restaurants don't even open until 9 pm.  Those guys eat dinner at 9, 10 or 11 pm when it is very dark outside.  Spanish people aren't fat.  They also take a 2 or 3 three hour siesta everyday, when the sun's out.  I'm sick of these stupid studies.  Eat what you want and die like a man.



It can't be more than a month ago that you published a study or just blogged that the number of calories eaten per 24 hours is the key and "don't eat late" was a myth as long as your calorie count was good.

So though the results of each study are interesting, I'd really like to know who is right.



Original Post by: bbugg

This is nonsense.  I lived in Spain for two years and the Spanish restaurants don't even open until 9 pm.  Those guys eat dinner at 9, 10 or 11 pm when it is very dark outside.  Spanish people aren't fat.  They also take a 2 or 3 three hour siesta everyday, when the sun's out.  I'm sick of these stupid studies.  Eat what you want and die like a man.


I was in Spain once at a student exchange program and I would have dinner at midnight. I thought they were kidding! It was weird.

Anyway, I generally believe in eating medium amount for breakfast, the most for lunch and the least for dinner. Eat dinner when you can. I often get home at 9pm because I go dancing after work, but I wouldn't eat at work before that, because I would be sick in dance class. So I eat after, but something like a milkshake. Here in Hungary we have a theory that you shouldn't eat carbs after lunch. I generally try to keep to that.



Then again, due to work schedules,  two immediate family members  consume most of their calories between 6:00 pm and 11:00 pm.  Neither are fat.  In fact, one is very slim.  I'm chubby and I never eat after 6:00 pm and always eat breakfast.  So, go figure.



Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

Original Post by: bbugg

This is nonsense.  I lived in Spain for two years and the Spanish restaurants don't even open until 9 pm.  Those guys eat dinner at 9, 10 or 11 pm when it is very dark outside.  Spanish people aren't fat.  They also take a 2 or 3 three hour siesta everyday, when the sun's out.  I'm sick of these stupid studies.  Eat what you want and die like a man.


I was in Spain once at a student exchange program and I would have dinner at midnight. I thought they were kidding! It was weird.

Anyway, I generally believe in eating medium amount for breakfast, the most for lunch and the least for dinner. Eat dinner when you can. I often get home at 9pm because I go dancing after work, but I wouldn't eat at work before that, because I would be sick in dance class. So I eat after, but something like a milkshake. Here in Hungary we have a theory that you shouldn't eat carbs after lunch. I generally try to keep to that.


In the old days most farm families ate a large breakfast and a huge lunch (dinner) and small suppers.  They worked (exercised) during the day.  There were no fat men or fat children and few chunky women.  Remember, these people were also consuming large amounts of  fat (butter/lard), meats, sugar, and starches.



In the northern states and Canada during winter months if you didn't eat after dark you'd have to skip supper every day (and probably breakfast too).



Original Post by: lightluv17

Original Post by: frisasu

How would the energy input in the form of light/heat equate to the calorific value of the fat in the weight gain mice?


Sometime weight gain has nothing to do with caloric intake. Hormones, stress levels, emotional issues, sleep patterns, the frequency and ability to have bowel movements all affect weight fluctuations and gain. Just because the subjects got the same calories and exercise, doesnt mean that they COULNT gain weight.


I can believe that hormones, stress levels, emotional issues etc can affect weight gain/loss. But I wondered what the actual mechanism was.

I mean -if I eat a calorie it has to go SOMEWHERE(fat stored or heat/energy given off). Are they saying that the metabolic rate of the fatter mice is lowered? -I'll have to do some more reading.



Original Post by: plainoldgramma

In the northern states and Canada during winter months if you didn't eat after dark you'd have to skip supper every day (and probably breakfast too).


You don't have to go that far. I wake up at 6am and it's dark outside. I eat breakfast when the sun is just peeking out. I go home in darkness.



Is it so hard to link the study cited? It seems you never do so in these articles.



I work fairly normal hours 9-5 type. I eat breakfast at 9:30 or so (250cal) a snack around 11:30 (100cal) Lunch at 12:30 (600cal), snack at 3:00 (100cal) and dinner at 5:00 (250cal). I loose on average about 2lbs a week. If I eat my dinner later I note a definite difference in my weight loss. I think you get to burn your calories easier during the day due to more activity than during your resting periods. I don't eat a thing after 5:00.

I also have noticed that I sleep alot better when I'm not going to bed on a full stomach. To each his own this works for me possibly no one else. Happy Shrinking!



Well there is that saying: breakfast like a King, lunch like a Queen, dinner like a pauper... makes sense - when I was a kid in Ireland we always ate the main meal in the middle of the day and had a light supper - so it was lunch like a King really. There were three fat kids in my school - one of them had thyroid problems... and really none were gigantic.  There was only two fast-food places in the town - one was a fish and chipper - and people ate what was in-season. Now that most Irish people have eat dinner in the evening (largely because less stay at home mums and, I suspect, it seems more "sophisticated") + more American fast-food habits there is an obesity issue there too.



I'm not a big believer in this either. I've been in the industry for over forty years and have watched the "maybe's" about eating after 7 causing weight gain, now eating while the suns not out?

In Europe they don't eat until late and their rate of obesity is much lower than ours. I'm a night owl and remain very thin. My recent training as a Lifestyle and Weight Management Councilor suggests that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. If you eat more than you burn you gain weight. If you eat less than you burn you lose weight. 

Making a recommendation that people don't eat after dark as your closing sentence is bad advise! Some people get up early in the morning to go to work and breakfast is crucial. I think you should do a follow up on this and restate your suggestion! That is terrible!!!



plainoldgramma - you're right.  I'm in Canada, and I live VERY close to the Canada/US border.  Sun goes down usually around 4pm in winter, although with Daylight Savings, I think it's usually getting bright by the time I get to work.

I used to live way up North (on the border with Alaska), in a narrow valley surrounded by mountains.  In the winter, while it usually got bright by about 9:30am, we only saw the sun from about 11am to 1pm.  It was dark by the time I got home from school at 3pm.  Then again, it was bright until 1am in the summer.

Back in those days (this is the '80s we're talking about), we didn't get any TV up there, so most people were social at night, and spent time doing active things (snowshoeing, skiing, shovelling the 30 feet of snow).  I don't remember there being any obese people.  Of course, sometimes we were cut off from food supplies for a week, so that might have something to do with it.  ;)

I think how much you eat and how active you are has more to do with healthy weight than eating after dark.  But I also believe that 8 hours of sleep a day is necessary, regardless of whether you're sleeping in the light or the dark.  :)



I didn't notice in the article when the mice actually slept. I would guess that what they are driving at is that the mice may not have had a regular sleep cycle either, so that they were snacking when their bodies should have been resting and regenerating for the night. I would also hazard a guess that they were not extra active at any of the periods when they were awake during sleeping hours. It would seem to me that you should do what works for you. I end up off work at 9 in the evening and by that point I need a little snack or my belly talks to me and I can't go to sleep. I also manage to get about 9-10 hours of sleep a night. I am not sure if it is the way to go, but it seems to be working for me. I would be very interested to see how the aforementioned mice spent their time. I would guess that it had something to do with not resting completely. Just my two cents.



I know from the times when I used to work nights that I was a lot more tired, even if I slept 10-12 hours during the day. Sleeping while the sun is up just doesn't seem as efficient. So maybe the mice that were in the light so much couldn't get enough rest and thus were less active throughout the day. Lack of sleep also makes you eat more as you try to get the energy you would of sleep from food.

Oh, it's almost 6pm here and my colleague who works next to the window switched on the lights. It's only October.



Were they testing mature mice? They should have put a blind mouse in each category too.

People working graveyard shifts would be out of luck for eating anything anytime let alone the norm in winter.



I'm an actress and singer and often have a lot of activity at night. I haven't noticed that eating late (after shows is often the only choice) has made it harder for me to lose or easier to gain. What I have noticed is that stress gets to me, if I have a lot going on at my day job or problems in any other areas.

But that's just my body. Yours may vary. ;)



I am a night eater so this is TERRIBLE news if it is indeed true for humans.  I do not know what it is, but as soon as the sun goes down I get hungry.  I ration my calories all day so that I can eat at night.  I think that I will test this theory by making no changes over the next 2 weeks in my calories or exercise, but not eating after dark.  Wish me luck!!!   btw...it does not matter if I eat all day or ration my calories, I STILL get hungry when the sun goes down.



I usually find myself up about 7am and mid day rest 4p-5p with bed time about 1030p-12midnight.  I eat about 4 - 5 times through out the day/night until 1-1 & 1/2 hours before bed.  Perhaps it is all the running to the refridgerator I do - I don't know, but I do believe in WHAT I eat makes a difference for me.  As a vegan, I snack late on an unpeeled apple, an unpeeled pear, or 1/2 banana, about 1/4 - 1/3 cup dry roasted unsalted beans, if necessary I include 1-2 peeled carrots to munch on while I watch a movie.  Still 51k - 52k and am sticking to the plan:) aea



At least for ME,I'm convinced it's all about the thermodynamics.

 

I am a student who lost weight during the summer,where my sleeping hours were absolutely horrid.I'd go to bed at 8 am at best and wake up at night.I both lost fat and build muscle,results from dieting and exercise .

 

I found that no matter how I distributed my 1600 calories(even squeeze them all in 5 hours)I kept losing weight

Also,my weight gain was due to my huge breakfasts and lunches.My dinner time meal was always a low fat yoghurt those times.

 

...BUT...for overall well being you definitely want to sleep at normal times.I feel much more energetic,more full with the food I eat,and enjoy my exercise a lot more now that my bio-clock is back to normal.I used to have to push myself to go to the gym at the afterhours,and I somehow felt hungry no matter what I ate.



When you eat does not matter.  If your caloric intake is more than activity, there will be weight gain.  If you eat all calories right before bed, and it is not over your caloric requirement, you will get no real fat weight gain.  The "no eating after X hours is a myth, just like the "you must have plain water" myth.  If all I drink is calorie free beverages, the body doesn't care if it's water or not.  Why do people get distracted over minor issues that don't help?



Original Post by: mountaincutie

Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

Original Post by: bbugg

This is nonsense.  I lived in Spain for two years and the Spanish restaurants don't even open until 9 pm.  Those guys eat dinner at 9, 10 or 11 pm when it is very dark outside.  Spanish people aren't fat.  They also take a 2 or 3 three hour siesta everyday, when the sun's out.  I'm sick of these stupid studies.  Eat what you want and die like a man.


I was in Spain once at a student exchange program and I would have dinner at midnight. I thought they were kidding! It was weird.

Anyway, I generally believe in eating medium amount for breakfast, the most for lunch and the least for dinner. Eat dinner when you can. I often get home at 9pm because I go dancing after work, but I wouldn't eat at work before that, because I would be sick in dance class. So I eat after, but something like a milkshake. Here in Hungary we have a theory that you shouldn't eat carbs after lunch. I generally try to keep to that.


In the old days most farm families ate a large breakfast and a huge lunch (dinner) and small suppers.  They worked (exercised) during the day.  There were no fat men or fat children and few chunky women.  Remember, these people were also consuming large amounts of  fat (butter/lard), meats, sugar, and starches.


I read an article once about eating habits in Italy, asking why Italians are not (as a rule) obese or even overweight. The theory was that, given all the so-called "Italian" cooking we Americans love to consume, and the rate of obesity in the US, that Italians should all be as big as horses!

Well, when the reporter actually spent time there, he found that they actually eat alot of fresh fruits & vegetables, only small amounts of pasta @ the mid-day meal, maybe a bit more @ night, but not much...There were breads served, cheeses, etc. @ nearly every meal, but no one with whom he had any contact seemed to want more than one serving @ a time.

This makes me think that we Americans can learn alot from our friends overseas, Europeans AND Asians, who seem to have a much better handle on what an actual serving of ANYthing really looks like!! And as far as I've been able to tell, judging by my own weight-control journey here @ CC, losing 106 lbs so far w/ only a few more to go...it doesn't make a whole lot of difference what time of day (or night) that I eat.

Others here may differ...Wink...but like everything else in life, we all have our own way of doing things, eh?!



I have done a lot of research regarding this topic of discussion and even with discovery science experimentation a lot of the empirical studies are debatable.  That said it would behove those who want to come closer to drawing their theories to a tighter closure to do their experiments on humans that are willing.  As a prime example the infamous man who documented "super-size me" to draw his valid point of obesity and the fast food industry.  Case in point!    Although mice are great to do experiments I think this particular study needs much more solid evidence since humans are vastly different in mice when it comes to calorie consumption, food, our biological clocks, sleeping pattern...and many more important factors. 

In regards to all of this my own personal experience with eating at night is that I have not gained weight because of my eating pattern.  I suffered from anorexia and bulimia and while in recovery developed night eating.  With that said I NEEDED to gain the weight (50lbs) but eating most of my calories late into the hour didn't surplus the weight gain.  In regards to my own experience (which is a lot more detailed than the earlier stated) and from my own research most of what I have discovered is that eating late at night does not affect overall weight.  However, genetics and hormones do play a huge role in how that particular individual responds to the food consumed and expends the energy (carbs, fat).  -REGARDLESS of when they choose to eat!  Case-in-point, eating at 2 am (per-say) or eating at 6am ....it all goes in one place and out the same. 



I've been a shift-worker too and unfortunately, especially when in the airlines, it's really hard to actually eat before sundown.  In terms of travel, when exactly IS sundown????  It was really easy to eat three 'main' meals in an 18 hour period instead of one.  I've also recently been on 10 hour overnight shifts as a typist and again, it's hard to stay awake all night, when you've been up all day too without gas in the tank (no not THAT type of gas, lol).  I would just take very low calorie low protein snacks in - not biscuits and sweets, but packet soup (mindful of salt though), sometimes a chicken sandwich, tin of tuna or left overs from dinner (again meat and three veg).  I rarely indulged in the midnight maccers run and while I did not LOSE weight, I did not gain either.  I don't really think there is an answer unless you are a good day-time sleeper (which I'm not).  I would manage about 4-5 hours from 8am to 1pm and then that would be about it until 8am the next morning.  Fortunately we only did two in a row, but my husband has done 7 nights as part of his roster which I think is dangerous.  he's a good day-time sleeper though.



And also having said that, I tend to lose weight when I eat a lot of MacDonalds ... not so much the fries but the burgers.  For me I think they have the correct balance of carbs and proteins as I never over-eat, never want more and always feel great as well as losing a bit of weight.  One boyfriend said years ago "you must have a great metabolism - for the amount of **** you eat you're not really that fat"!!!  I am overweight, yes.  But not obese and not unhealthy.  I just need to DO more ... so I think it's in WHAT you eat, more than WHEN you eat.



I am a shift worker.

I count my calories per 24 hour period.

My breakfast is at 12noon to 1pm, my Lunch is 6-8pm timeframe  and I cannot have dinner until 12Midnight or 1-2 A.M. depending on how fancy I cook. I get OFF work at 11pm most times. I am STARVED after work and could not imagine NOT having my last meal at home....

Who eats DINNER at work, anyway?

 

so, yeah.... it's tricky.

sometimes, i add my 3 am popcorn snack as the next morning's Breakfast.

 

Mostly, go by when you SLEEP!

My dinners often fall at 2am, (and I'm awake to 6am or so...) but I log them as the day before, because I am still awake and have not went to bed yet!

When you WAKE UP is when it is a new day! not the hands of the clock.

5B27D917-3419-706C-34A6-45837006461B 1.03.01


I also work nights so I just count my calories of what a normal day is for me...that is 1pm thru 5am is when I am up....



What's the point of this "blog"? You can Google this and any site will tell you it doesn't matter. What matters is how much you eat. The reason people who eat late don't lose is because they didn't save up calories for it.  I always eat right before I go to bed. I don't go to bed until 3am. I eat dinner at 9 or 10pm, lunch at 3 or 4.  This article was pointless in my opinion.  And telling people not to eat when it's dark is just silly since it's about to start getting dark at 4:30 or 5pm. Even if you go to bed at a "normal" time, that is a LONG time with no food.  If you went to bed at 10 that's 5 hours awake with no food, and then 8 sleeping...13 hours. Ridiculous.  Just count your calories, and do what you know you should be doing.



Thank you happyface, I had remembered the cucumber, but did not know about the vinegar - interesting.  I use lemon peel for lightening the skin as needed, the peel is squeezed as it is gently rubbed over the skin.  Feels refreshing.  Had never heard of Baking Soda or Beer for hair, but have used a 50% original listerine, water as a pre rub on the scalp before using my regular shampoo.  Will try them both next time:) aea



Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

I know from the times when I used to work nights that I was a lot more tired, even if I slept 10-12 hours during the day. Sleeping while the sun is up just doesn't seem as efficient. So maybe the mice that were in the light so much couldn't get enough rest and thus were less active throughout the day. Lack of sleep also makes you eat more as you try to get the energy you would of sleep from food.

Oh, it's almost 6pm here and my colleague who works next to the window switched on the lights. It's only October.


THIS. I was thinking about this again this morning and glad someone else brought it up.

I'd like to know about the sleep cycles/schedules too. Were they sleep deprived? If the experiment lasted longer, would they have become more used to the new sleep cycle and their bodies adjusted (holding on to less weight or shedding some of those ounces)?

I realize others pointed it out in the thread as well, but was scrolling backwards through comments and quoted this one.

It is WAY to early to draw any conclusion, let alone "Make eating after the sun goes down an exception and not the rule" (seriously, do you live on the equator?) with so many questions left unanswered (as well as a good link to the study itself!).



Anyone who is interested in this study should read The When Diet by Dr. Todd Easton, Kansas State University. Dr. Easton is an Industrial & Manufacturing Engineer who views the human body as a 'system' whose caloric intake and output could be optimized. His findings back up this study. I've been following his recommendations since January 2010 and lost 45 lbs rather painlessly. Personally, I think this topic deserves to be studied more because I've seen the results. Here is a link for anyone who is interested in reading more about this topic:

http://www.thewhendiet.com/

I am NOT saying that people should eat junk and follow The When Diet to lose weight. I think people should eat within reason and use The When Diet technique to optimize results. There are many causes of obesity. Eating at the wrong time for a body's active/rest schedule could cause people to pack on more weight than they would if they ate a majority of calories while they are awake/active & avoided eating 5 hours before long periods of rest (aka sleep). It's not that when a person eats is the only cause of obesity. However, eating at the wrong time could cause people to gain more weight than they would if they only ate when their body uses calories efficiently. It could be a very important piece to a larger puzzle. I would like to see more studies on this topic.



Original Post by: jingle_sis

It can't be more than a month ago that you published a study or just blogged that the number of calories eaten per 24 hours is the key and "don't eat late" was a myth as long as your calorie count was good.

So though the results of each study are interesting, I'd really like to know who is right.


I agree with most of this post, but I don't really want to die like a man Laughing



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