A group of scientists from Vanderbilt University (Nashville) has shown that not only the amount of calories a person consumes influences weight gain, but also the time they consume them.
The biological clock has a lot to do with this. This internal body clock modulates natural processes such as sleep, eating, body temperature and hormone levels. Alteration of certain patterns, such as food, can influence the onset of obesity.
One of the authors of the study indicated that there is a lot of research that focuses not only on how much animals and humans eat, but when they eat it. To prove this, they recruited six people over the age of 50 to monitor their metabolisms at the time of eating at different times of the day.
Each ate three meals per day in two separate 56-hour sessions, with the same night fast. In one session the participants had breakfast, lunch and dinner. In another they did not have breakfast, but they received an extra snack in the evening (22:00). Physical activity was the same in both sessions.
The study found that when participants ate the evening snack, they burned less fat than when they consumed the same amount of calories (700) the day they had breakfast. Over time this could mean a large accumulation of fat.
Scientists said this shows that any food ingested before bedtime will delay fat burning during sleep. Fasting from dinner to breakfast can be more beneficial for weight loss than not having breakfast.