Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many people, specifically younger adults have a disturbed routine with no fixed timings for food intake, sleeping, or exercise. As a result, many people end up sleeping at odd hours, avoiding physical activity, and develop a habit of eating late at night. All of these can increase the risk of weight gain as well as many other health conditions.
According to the present medical research, the timings of different activities of the day are important in having good health. However, the vast majority believes that controlling caloric intake is the key to avoiding or reducing extra pounds and will also avoid health issues in the future.
In reality, counting calories alone are not enough for keeping weight off. This is a common mistake and makes achieving the ideal weight difficult. Many people simply have unhealthy habits that can contribute to gaining weight and cut down any progress made by controlling daily calories.
For instance, many people, specifically younger adults, tend to eat right before sleeping at night while maintaining their calories. Doctors and health care experts have always advised against a late-night dinner.
Now, new research, whose findings appear in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism shows that having food before going to sleep or late at night can not only increase the risk of weight gain but also elevate blood sugar levels in a person.
The associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University and author of the new paper, Dr. Jonathan C. Jun explained that “We were aware of other research that suggested that late eating is associated with obesity, and because the association is not the same as causation, we wanted to look at this in a more rigorous way,”
Precisely, Jun and the team were interested in looking for any metabolic alterations caused by late-night consumption of food, which can increase the chances of developing issues including gaining excess weight.
To do so, the team examined the effect of having dinner late at night on twenty participants. Ten of these participants were women and the rest were men.
Usually, most of the participants consumed dinner at six or seven at night. In the study, they were required to have food three or four hours later around ten at night and then go to bed an hour later.
After doing so, the researchers noted that the level of fat burn reduced by ten percent in most of the people. In addition, they also had twenty percent higher blood sugar levels and elevated risk of weight gain. The results remained the same even if the participants were given the food they had prior to the study.
However, another finding was that people who were used to eating and sleeping late at night did not have as much of a difference in their blood sugar level, fat burn, or risk of weight gain.
The research, overall, was much more detailed in comparison with the studies focusing on a similar subject. The findings now further emphasize the importance of timing and how it can significantly influence health outcomes in the future.