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Eating At This Time May Mess With Your Metabolism — Here’s Why

The study design.

The goal of the study was to determine how eating time affects appetite, energy balance, and adipose (fat) tissue dynamics in adults with overweight and obesity.

Researchers from Harvard University, University of Chicago, and other academic institutions designed a robust randomized controlled trial that controlled nutrient intake, physical activity, sleep, and even light exposure to determine the impact of late versus early eating.


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How late eating impacts metabolism.

When compared to early eating (i.e., beginning meal intake 1 hour after waking up in the morning), late eating (i.e., beginning meals 5 hours after waking) led to:

Increased hungerDecreased leptin (a key hormone that tells us when we’re full/satiated)Reduced energy expenditure (aka calorie burn)Changes in gene expression (i.e., DNA) tied to increased fat storage

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In other words? Eating later is the perfect storm for metabolic health issues. For those with adiposity concerns, delaying meals (especially breakfast!) may contribute to appetite dysregulation and energy balance challenges.

The takeaway.

Metabolic health is complex and nuanced, to say the least. This groundbreaking study shows that timing of meals is a more significant factor in maintaining a healthy metabolism than previously thought.

That said, changing the timing of meals isn’t the only way to support a healthy, active metabolism. For individuals looking for science-backed and targeted nutritional support, a holistic metabolism supplement like mindbodygreen’s metabolism+ (which includes clinically-researched botanicals like cayenne pepper, veld grape, grains of paradise, and EGCG and caffeine from green tea) can help optimize metabolic efficiency, activate calorie burn and fat metabolism, and support energy balance and satiety.*

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.

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