According to a recent research, there’s an increasing amount of evidence that midnight snacks may actually be responsible for weight gain and maybe even the obesity epidemic that’s taking over the world.
A study from the Salk Institute found out that high-calorie diets are not the only culprit for the increased weight in countries around the world – in fact, midnight snacks may do even more damage.
According to the scientists involved in the study, pre-set eating times can synchronize hundreds of genes in the body much better, which will keep your metabolism functioning at an optimal rate. Satchidananda Panda, one of the leaders of the study and a professor at the Salk Institute, says that eating healthy is the best way of staying in good shape and preventing weight gain. However, some people just can’t eat a healthy diet due to a variety of factors. In this case, Dr. Panda recommends following a time-restricted diet which should help against the weight gain.
The study was done on nearly 400 mice, which had either normal body weight or were obese. They were fed with different diets including the time-restricted one, and regardless of the fat, glucose and sucrose in the diets, the mice restricted to 9-12 hours of eating had the best results. The time-restricted group was allowed a high-fat meal on the weekends, and even with that, they still performed better than the other groups.
The main author of the study, Dr. Amandine Chaix said that the study surprised everyone positively, especially with the addition of the free meals at the weekends. Even better, the mice in the study which were already obese suffered a small drop in their body weight after only a few days thanks to the time-restrictive diet. The diet prevented them from gaining additional weight, and helped them gain much more muscle mass than the other groups.
According to Dr. Panda, the mice with a normal body weight didn’t lose any weight, but they completely changed their body composition, which is still a nice benefit. This means that by restricting your meals and ditching the midnight snacking, you should eat your meals in pre-set times and a 9-12 hour window if you want to keep your weight in normal range.