Is This the Secret to Losing Weight?

If you regularly eat your evening meal around 8pm or 9pm and you’re struggling to shift the pounds, it might be that eating late is what’s getting in your way.

According to a 2022 study by Harvard Medical School, eating later in the day is associated with an increased risk of obesity, increased body fat and a reduction in weight loss success.

According to the research, eating later affects two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, both of which are linked to appetite and the desire to eat. Levels of leptin, which helps us feel sated after a meal, were lower in the group who ate later in the evening compared to those who ate their evening meal at 5pm. Another study also found that levels of ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry, were lower in people who practised time-restricted eating.

As well as this, limiting eating to an earlier time period enables the body to do more. Burning calories, processing sugar, reducing inflammation, and regulating gut bacteria were all shown to be more efficient in the group of participants that ate earlier.

Crucially, the likelihood of people feeling hungry during the day was significantly lowered in the group that ate their last meal at 5pm, compared to the one that ate their final meal at 9pm. This means that not only is the body not overwhelmed with having to digest food late into the night but that the likelihood of overeating or mindless snacking is greatly reduced.