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Eating dinner late is associated with higher blood sugar levels. Getty Images
  • A recent study finds that eating a late dinner can cause weight gain and high blood sugar levels regardless of calories.
  • Eating dinner at 10 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. may affect your blood glucose and the ability to burn fat.
  • The study found that late eaters had peak blood sugar levels almost 20 percent higher and fat burning reduced by 10 percent, compared with those who ate dinner earlier.

Conventional wisdom is that a calorie is a calorie, no matter when you eat it, and that weight gain is caused by eating more calories than you use. Nutritionists call this the calories in, calories out theory of weight control.

But it might not be as simple as that. New research discovers that what time you eat may play a significant role in gaining weight.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网 today in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, eating a late dinner is associated with weight gain and high blood sugar levels, regardless if the meal is the same that you would have eaten earlier.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网“We were aware of other research that suggested that late eating is associated with obesity, and because association is not the same as causation, we wanted to look at this in a more rigorous way,” study author , associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University told Healthline.

Jun explained that the research team wanted to understand whether late eating actually changes metabolism in a way that promotes obesity.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网“So that’s why we set out to do this randomized clinically controlled trial, taking healthy people and make them eat at two different times, control their food, control their diet, and control their sleep times as well,” he said.

, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University, in a .

, so when they consumed their food we could measure how much of the fat they ate was burned or oxidized.”

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网Asked if this study provides conclusive proof that it’s when and not necessarily what you eat that can cause weight gain, Jun was confident.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网“Yes, I think this at least shows that there’s biological plausibility or biological explanations for how food timing can affect the way your body handles those calories,” he said.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网, MS, RD, LDN, program manager, MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education at Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing.

Diewald adds that the findings are significant for disease prevention.

“This study provides a reminder that cultivating eating habits addressing not only traditional factors such as meal content and size, but also meal timing, may influence the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease down the road.”

According to Diewald, dinner is, by far, the largest meal of the day for most adults in terms of calories.

She explained that busy people typically rush through breakfast and lunch, which often means eating later, and more, than they should. “[This] can leave you yearning for a large meal late at night, which as this study highlights can result in some difficulties with glucose or fat metabolism, even in young individuals with a healthy weight.”

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网Diewald recommended having a small, high protein snack such as Greek yogurt sprinkled with nuts in the late afternoon if you know you’ll be home late.

“Curbing appetite a bit so that if you have to eat later than anticipated, it can be a snack-size meal,” she said.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网Choices could include eating a small salad with grilled chicken, half a sandwich and fruit, or a cup of vegetable soup and a glass of low fat milk.

“Aim to eat your largest meal at breakfast or lunch if possible,” said Diewald.

A recent study finds eating a late dinner can cause weight gain and high blood sugar levels regardless of calories.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网Researchers found that not everyone reacts the same way, and people who were accustomed to earlier bedtimes had the most weight gain from a late dinner. Night owls were the least affected by a change in mealtime.

2020欧洲杯体育足球比分网According to researchers, this is strong evidence that eating a late meal causes weight gain even if you don’t increase the calories consumed.

Experts say, when working long days it’s a good idea to eat a healthy snack in the afternoon to curb your appetite for a late dinner.