Last updated on Jul 7th, 2020 at 02:01 pm

An important factor that affects your weight loss is not just how many calories you eat, but WHEN you eat them…

Your daily biological clock and sleep regulate how the food you eat is metabolised. Therefore the choice of burning fats or carbohydrates changes depending on the time of day or night.

This is according to research from Vanderbilt University.

How to burn fat in your sleep

Your body’s circadian rhythm has programmed your body to burn fat when you sleep, so when you skip breakfast and then snack at night you delay burning the fat.

The study

The researchers monitored the metabolism of mid-aged and older subjects in a whole-room respiratory chamber over two separate 56-hour sessions.

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In each session, lunch and dinner were presented at the same times – 12:30 and 17:45, respectively – but the timing of the third meal differed between the two halves of the study.

In one of the 56-hour bouts, the additional daily meal was presented as breakfast – 8:00. In the other session, a nutritionally equivalent meal was presented to the same subjects as a late-evening snack at 22:00. The duration of the overnight fast was the same for both sessions.

Quit the late-night snack

Even though the type of food eaten or in the subjects’ activity levels were the same, the late-evening snack session resulted in less fat burned when compared to the breakfast session.

The timing of meals during the day/night cycle, therefore, affects the extent to which ingested food is used versus stored.

This study has important implications for eating habits, suggesting that a daily fast between the evening meal and breakfast will optimise weight management.

So, if you want to lose weight, skip the late-snack and make sure you eat a healthy breakfast.

Source: PLOS via

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