Finally science explains why heading to bed immediately after dinner can make you fat

Did you know that according to experts you must have a gap of at least four hours between your dinner and bedtime?
PCOS and weight
Sleeping right after having dinner can lead to weight gain, says study. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Updated: 17 May 2021, 15:36 pm IST
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When it comes to weight loss, your diet matters a lot. The other key to losing kilos is to have a proper gap between your dinner and bedtime. I’m fact, many studies say that you should keep a gap of three to four hours between dinner and going to bed. 

In the earlier days, people used to eat dinner before sunset so that it could be digested in time. Maybe that’s why our grandparents rarely experienced obesity or lifestyle diseases that we are struggling with.

A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism verifies this as it states that eating your dinner late and then heading straight to bed can lead to major weight gain.     

Late dinner can lead to obesity
Over 2.1 billion adults are estimated to be overweight or obese which makes them prone to health complications like diabetes and high blood pressure.

type 2 diabetes
Late dinner can also lead to diabetes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

According to the researchers, eating dinner late at night can lead to high blood sugar levels and this can put you at an increased risk of being overweight. 

In fact, studies also say that consuming calories late in the day is associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome.

“This study sheds new light on how eating a late dinner worsens glucose tolerance and reduces the amount of fat burned. The effect of late eating varies greatly between people and depends on their usual bedtime,” said study author Jonathan C. Jun from the Johns Hopkins University in the US.

“This shows that some people might be more vulnerable to late eating than others. If the metabolic effects we observed with a single meal keep occurring chronically, then late eating could lead to consequences such as diabetes or obesity,” Jun added.

Consuming food late at night can also lead to indigestion
When we are asleep all the processes in our body slow down, including digestion. So if you go to sleep immediately after eating food, then your dinner will take more time to digest and chances are you’ll wake up with indigestion.

benefits of sattu
Eating heavy meals at night and heading straight to bed can lead to stomach pain and constipation. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In this study, the research team studied 20 healthy volunteers (10 men and 10 women) to see how they metabolized dinner eaten at 10 p.m. compared to 6 p.m. The volunteers all went to bed at 11 p.m.

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They found that blood sugar levels were higher, and the amount of ingested fat burned was lower with the later diners, even when the same meal was provided at the two different times.

Also, read: This 30-minute spiced pumpkin soup recipe is the weight-loss friendly answer to all your weekday dinners

On average, the peak glucose level after late dinner was about 18% higher, and the amount of fat burned overnight decreased by about 10% compared to eating an earlier dinner, according to the findings.

“The effects we have seen in healthy volunteers might be more pronounced in people with obesity or diabetes, who already have a compromised metabolism,” said first author of the study, Chenjuan Gu.

Also, listen:

“We still need to do more experiments to see if these effects continue over time, and if they are caused more by behaviour (such as sleeping soon after a meal) or by the body’s circadian rhythms,” the authors added.

So, if you want to lose weight swiftly then avoid eating heavy meals for dinner and keep a gap between your meal and bedtime.

(With inputs from IANS)

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