If you’re trying to fight the flab, try eating earlier. Research has found that eating later in the day causes weight gain…

This is according to a new study to be presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting.

The week-long study included 31 overweight and obese adults with an average age of 36. Ninety percent were women.

Participants enrolled in an ongoing weight-loss trial comparing daily caloric restrictions to time-restricted feeding, meaning they could only eat during certain hours of the day.

Measuring physical activity, sleep and meal timing

The study used three types of technology to simultaneously measure participants’ daily sleep, physical activity, and meal timing patterns:

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  • Participants wore an activPAL electronic device on their thigh to measure how much time they spent in physical and sedentary activities.
  • They wore an Actiwatch, which assesses sleep/wake patterns.
  • Participants were asked to use a phone app called MealLogger to photograph and time stamp all meals and snacks throughout the day.

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The researchers found that, on average, participants consumed food throughout an 11-hour timeframe during the day and slept for about seven hours a night.

People who ate later in the day slept at a later time, but they slept for about the same amount of time as those who finished eating earlier.

Later meal timing was associated with a higher body mass index as well as greater body fat.

Source: The Endocrine Society via www.sciencedaily.com