The time you eat plays a significant role both in your energy levels and metabolism. In Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda it is recommended that the biggest meals are consumed during the early part of the day, breakfast and lunch, and something lighter early in the evening.
One of the reasons for eating the bigger meals earlier in the day is that the body's functions are at their peak. As the day goes by, especially after 7 pm, digestion starts slowing down preparing for the next phase, that of cleansing and detoxifying the body from all it has accumulated throughout the daily functions.
Now, researchers are demonstrating that night eating plays a role in gaining weight. As recently reported on BBC News, a team from Northwestern University, Illinois, found that when you eat, not just how you eat, could make a big difference. The study, in the journal Obesity, is said to be the first to show directly that there is a "wrong" time to eat. Recent studies have suggested that circadian rhythms, the body's internal clock, have a role in how our bodies use up energy. However, this had been difficult to definitively pin down.
Deanna Arble, lead author of the study, said: "One of our research interests is shift workers, who tend to be overweight. "This got us thinking that eating at the wrong time of day might be contributing to weight gain." "Better timing of meals could be a critical element in slowing the ever-increasing incidence of obesity." The scientists now hope they can find out more about how the process works. It is thought that sleep, hormones and body temperature all play a part in how we gain weight.