The Importance of Your Eating Schedule
When it comes to managing your diet, we all know that it's important to keep track of what you eat and how much you eat. But if you're trying to lose weight, you should also pay careful attention to when you eat.
One of the biggest obstacles in the process of losing weight is snacking, particularly late night snacking. This intuitively makes sense -- when you eat before going to bed, you're taking in calories that your body isn't able to burn off through activity. But it also may relate to the body's internal clock, and how it responds to going without food for prolonged periods.
Anew study conducted on mice and published recently in a journal called Cell Metabolism found that mice who ate at any time they pleased over a 24-hour period gained more weight than mice that were restricted to a 9-12 hour feeding period with the same amount of food.
The conclusion? "Fasting for at least 12 hours appears to switch on important fat burning pathways in the body."
In other words, if you stop eating after dinner and don't eat again until breakfast time (that's usually at least a 12-hour period), it could give your body a significant metabolism boost, in addition to keeping off those late-night calories that are more difficult to torch.
That's another reason to try and avoid that nighttime snack or fourth meal. If you're struggling to fight the PM cravings, try eating a little more at dinner to make sure you're full, or try going to bed earlier.