When You Eat May Matter
The clock may count just as much or more than the calories. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California found that mice allowed to free feed 24/7 gained weight although mice that were only permitted to eat for eight hours a day stayed slim. Both groups consumed an equivalent number of calories and both were on a high-fat diet. The findings were published online on May 17th in Cell Metabolism.
"Every organ has a clock," lead author Satchidananda Panda wrote in a journal news release. A HealthDay report on the study further explained that Panda said this means "there are times of the day that the organs, including the liver, intestines and muscles, operate at peak efficiency and other times when they work less efficiently." He went on to suggest that "frequent eating throughout the day and night may throw off these normal metabolic cycles."
As always when research that was done on animals hasn't been replicated in humans, we need to consider Panda's work preliminary. But if you’re a late night snacker or a midnight refrigerator raider, you might do well to try to change your ways. Sticking to a daytime eating schedule could keep your weight under control even if you don't cut back on how much you eat. Hey, it's worth a try!