Why you should eat early to stay slim

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  • Avoid late-night snacks and meals to lose weight

    Dining early in the day could be key to winning the battle of the bulge, scientists believe.

    Many slim celebrities swear by never eating past a set time in the evening.  Now science is on their side with one of the first studies of its kind suggesting that late-night snacks and meals are bad for the waistline.

    Nocturnal mice fed during the day instead of at night put on more than twice as much weight as creatures with ‘normal’ mealtimes. Their weight increased by 48 per cent over a period of six weeks, compared with a rise of just 20 per cent in mammals which ate at the correct time, the journal Obesity reports.

    Researchers from Chicago’s Northwestern University said that further work is needed to explain the reasons, but it appears that the internal clock which governs when we go to sleep and wake up also has an impact on metabolism.

    Our body clocks, for instance, could control the release of appetite hormones. This means that making an effort to eat earlier in the day could be pivotal to weight loss.

    Professor Fred Turek said ‘losing body weight by controlling energy intake through dieting and/or energy expenditure has proven to be difficult over a long period of time’.

    He added: ‘Better timing of meals, which would require a change in behaviour, could be a critical element in slowing the ever-increasing incidence of obesity.

    This follows research showing that in Britain, the average timing of the evening meal has slipped back to just before 8pm – two hours later than two years ago.


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