Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is Night Time Eating Making You Gain Weight?

The answer is YES!

But what do I know?  Let's check on some studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  
In a study published in 2008, 94 individuals were kept in an inpatient program and closely monitored by staff and technology.  Why is this important?  Well, in the words of the ever so eloquent Dr. Gregory House, "Everyone lies".  Previous to this study being published the results were inconclusive to say the least and based on "self-reported" nighttime eating.  The study was conducted by feeding participants a standardized diet and then monitoring their caloric intake via a computerized vending machine. 

The Result:

Nighttime eating was common, and it predicted weight gain. 
Why? Because when fuel (calories) are abundant and activity is low, the result is stored fuel (fat).  Couple that with a decreased core temperature and out of control leptin levels as well as other hormones being present to induce rest and it's a recipe for weight gain.  All we must do is to take yet another look at our roots.  We evolved from hunters and gatherers which ate and slept with the sun.  No refrigerators or modern conveniences to facilitate eating past sunset.  Should that hungry feeling come find you late in the day, make sure to satisfy it with a protein source instead of a carbohydrate to keep blood sugars (the most readily available energy option) under control.

Adam Funke
Real Life Fitness and Health
Program Director

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