Keeping Your Diet On The Clock

If you've ever struggled to lose weight, you know that the formula isn't as simple as calorie cutting and exercise. Researchers from Northwestern University wanted to test a hypothesis based on observations of 2nd and 3rd shift workers, who tend to be overweight as a group. Their findings appear in the September issue of the journal Obesity.

In the study, two groups of lab mice were allowed to eat as much high-fat food as they wanted. One group fed during the 12 nighttime hours that make up the active part of a rodent's day. The other half ate during the 12 daytime hours mice usually spend sleeping. The nighttime feeding mice gained 20% more weight compared to the daytime feeders who gained a whopping 48%.

The Bigger Picture: Based on these dramatic results, scientists theorized that humans and their rodent counterparts regulate energy on circadian rhythms, the internal clock your body uses to determine bedtime among other events. If you get up in the middle of the night to make a Dagwood sandwich, you could be complicating digestion as far as natural body rhythms are concerned.
Leave a Comment