Case Study #04 The Night Eater

Men's Health (UK) - - 7 New Ways To Lose 5kg -

For most of the day, food is barely on your radar: you might skip break­fast and eat a sand­wich at lunch. But at night, you feast: your din­ner plates have barely been cleared be­fore you’re raid­ing the cup­boards again.

“This back­load­ing of calo­ries seems to pre­dis­pose peo­ple to be over­weight,” Martin says. Ac­cord­ing to Pen­ning­ton re­searcher Court­ney M Peter­son, it’s more than a case of in­take vs out­put. Late-night eat­ing dis­rupts in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity, raises blood pres­sure and hin­ders fat loss. “We think that eat­ing later at night puts your body’s ‘clocks’ in dif­fer­ent time zones,” she says, “lead­ing to con­flict­ing sig­nals.”

The Pre­scrip­tion Try a com­pressed eat­ing sched­ule. In a study con­ducted by Peter­son, when sub­jects took all of their meals be­tween 8am and 2pm, they burned more fat and felt less hun­gry than those eat­ing the same amount on a nor­mal sched­ule. Ini­tially, you may find that you have lit­tle ap­petite dur­ing the day, but it’s worth per­sist­ing. One alum­nus of the study said he dreaded feel­ing over­full af­ter his last meal in the early af­ter­noon – but, in five weeks, he lost weight, re­bal­anced his blood su­gar and low­ered his blood pres­sure.

Al­ter­ing your sleep pat­terns may help, too. Wake up early to train, fir­ing up your ap­petite, and aim to be in bed by 10pm, which will also cut into your evening snack time. If you’re strug­gling to wake up with the alarm, try sleep­ing with the cur­tains open, in­stead. The nat­u­ral light will rewire your brain.

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