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How to Optimize Your Metabolism by Eating Earlier?

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How to optimize your metabolism by eating earlier? Meal timing might not be the first thing that comes to your mind, but actually, it plays a huge role. 

In this post, we will analyze a recent study investigating how late eating affects your energy levels, metabolism, and risk of obesity.

How To Optimize Your Metabolism By Eating Earlier? | Beyond Sapiens

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Optimize your metabolism by eating earlier. – Late vs. early eating schedule

You might have heard already that eating late affects your energy levels, but until recently, we lacked scientific evidence on how. That has now changed thanks to Vujović et al., who published an exciting research on this topic, where they compare late vs. early eating schedules.

In the late schedule, the last meal was 2 and a half hours before bed, while for the early schedule, it was 6 and a half hours before bed. The results that we will analyze do not necessarily justify an ideal timing. Rather they will clarify the correlation between how late you eat and how your metabolism works. Let’s jump into their results!

Optimize your metabolism
Optimize your metabolism Vujović et al 2022

To optimize your metabolism, Leptin plays a key role

​​The first conclusion of this study was that people with a late eating schedule felt more hungry during the day compared to the ones with an early eating schedule. This increased the chances of people eating more and choosing unhealthy alternatives over healthy ones.

As this conclusion was made by analyzing people’s self-reported feelings, the researchers wanted to back this up with some physiological measures. To do that, they gathered hormone tests to understand why people experienced increased hunger.

Interestingly, the hormone tests confirmed that late eating decreased the hormone levels of Leptin, which is the hormone responsible for you feeling satiated after a meal. So, eating late may make you prone to feel hungry and more likely to choose unhealthy foods because you have lower levels of Leptin.

Late eating decreases waketime energy expenditure and 24-h core body temperature

If feeling hungrier isn’t enough, eating late will also make you burn fewer calories during the day. 5.03% less, to be precise. This result was achieved via indirect calorimetry, measured 12 times over the 16-h wake time. This is a process that calculates heat that living organisms, in this case, humans, produce by measuring either their production of carbon dioxide and nitrogen waste or from their consumption of oxygen.

You can read all the details in the full research paper under the research section in this post.

Another value that drops when eating late is the core body temperature, both when awake and asleep. This is most likely linked to a decrease in thermogenesis. Basically, your body works less; hence, it consumes fewer calories. As a result, you have more chances of storing fat in your body, which is another aspect analyzed in this study.

Optimize your metabolism Early eating schedule vs late eating schedule Vujović et al 2022

Late eating alters adipose tissue gene expression favoring increased lipid storage

To understand why this happens, the researchers took body fat samples to analyze the effects on a cellular level. They found that late eating correlates with body fat stored in our bodies. That is because late eating downregulates genes that break down our body fat.

Simultaneously, it upregulates genes that convert carbs to fats. When these two processes happen at the same time, they lead to increased fat storage. 

What to keep in mind to optimize your metabolism?

By combining all these physiological changes that happen in your body when adopting a late eating schedule, it’s clear that there’s a strong correlation with an increased risk of obesity. Previous research had already shown a link between late eating and a higher risk of obesity, more body fat, and less successful weight loss.

Now, thanks to the study from Vujović et al., we know why. Obesity is one of the world’s largest health problems and is a risk factor for several of the world’s leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and various types of cancer.

In most cases, you can naturally get back to healthy body fat levels just by changing your lifestyle. At times, it might seem like an impossible task, but with the right mindset and guidance, you can totally do it. With small, consistent steps, you will build a sustainable lifestyle.

We hope you’ve found this post helpful! Whether you want to optimize your metabolism for performance or weight loss, you can simply start by eating earlier.

If you’re ready to go Beyond Sapiens, you can learn more about our Individual & Business Maximization Coaching programs!

Related Research & Articles

“Late isocaloric eating increases hunger, decreases energy expenditure and modifies metabolic pathways in adults with overweight and obesity”

“Circadian clocks play a key role in fat cell growth”

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