Impressive study indicating eating late = bad

(Bob M) #1

It’s a cross-over study, meaning that the same people underwent both eating early and eating late, and they compare what happened to the same people at those two different times.

Only 16 people, though.

The Summary:

Lots of graphs and other data.

Unfortunately, I still will eat late, as we simply get home too late to eat earlier. Oh well.


It’s still individual (our differences are more bigger than whatever they could find, even if that would be an average and not something more random using only 16 people) and as you experience, sometimes we don’t even have the option to use the best timing for our individual case as we have circumstances…

The earlier I eat, the bigger obesity risk I have (if everything else is the same), I know that much already, it’s how I work. But at this point I have zero obesity risk anyway, I just won’t overeat and even if I do, I won’t gain… But it’s not like my weight is my priority. Too late or too much eating can interfere with our health in various ways. (Just like undereating and going to bed hungry, ruining our sleep in the process. I rather eat.)

I still dislike eating late as my natural eating window is in the afternoon and not too late evening. I only eat late when I can’t avoid it but I should work on making those cases very rare.

decreased daytime energy expenditure

Why? Now I got curious and go to read, maybe I understand something of it (unlikely)…

(Jane) #3

Good news for us, I guess. We eat dinner at 5:30 pm most evenings. Lunch is at 11 am so we are doing 18:6 IF naturally. On rare occassions we eat breakfast and I suppose that helps mix things up a bit.

(Allie) #4

Personal experience fits with this as I gain weight when I eat late, also my sleep is horrendous.


I always sleep pretty well right after a big meal but I sleep okay anyway, I just never wake up feeling energetic. I am a morning zombie but things get better as evening gets close.

My PLAN is eating between 3pm and somewhere around 7pm, those days are the best. (My real best days are OMAD days but they gets harder as I eat less carbs. Only a proper late afternoon OMAD sized meal can make sure I will be perfectly satiated until bedtime. And I need that. Just lack of hunger can’t keep me from eating late.)

This is a long article and I didn’t find when the participants ate (that should be in the beginning somewhere…). In my case, the size of my eating window and the numbers of my meals matter a lot.
But food choices are super important too. The less non-animal carbs I eat, the less important timing gets though it is still important. But it’s more like for enjoyment and feeling right, not my macros and hunger. And surely many people are similar.


I had the same question. If I’m reading Figure 2 correctly, they defined the late meal as “Supper” at 9:30pm, which is pretty late by all measures. Someone please correct me if I’m reading this wrong.

Also, in each group they ate 3 meals per day. Query whether the same conclusions hold for 2MAD or OMAD.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #7

Probably ate three meals a day because they were on the SAD. Were any of these study subjects eating a keto diet?

(Mary) #8

Not in Spain - you have to head to the tourist areas if you want supper before 9pm :joy:

(Joey) #9

My n=1 experience is aligned with the notion that eating a really big meal right before slipping into bed doesn’t usually work well - for sleep or digestion. But having spotted media coverage of this study I grew wary…

It’s relevant to note that all subjects were all overweight/obese - i.e., their metabolic systems were already in a state of disrepair. Any conclusions should be taken in context.

Moreover, the menu consists of: "45-50% carbohydrates, 15-20% protein, and 30-35% fat. " I suspect a carb-restricted menu would yield different results. (Ain’t it harder to digest late night pizza than bacon strips?)

If the goal is weight loss for overweight/obese individuals, this study on meal timing may be relevant (re: human behavior and adherence to a chosen diet).

To generalize these results to those with healthy metabolisms who are happy to “stick with” a carb-restricted WOE, this study’s conclusions may be either a stretch or simply irrelevant. :man_shrugging:


That was my thought too when I read that… It’s very significant.

So now I know when was dinner - but timing still matters. A tiny eating window is different from a big one, a tiny late meal is different with a bigger one (if the participants ate 3 meals a day, it’s unlikely the last one was really big according to my standards… ;))…
So many factors and only 16 persons, all having extra fat and who knows what problems and habits…

You may have a point… I definitely feel different after a late pork and eggs meal and after a late carby meal (though a late meal, I mean between midnight and 3am is never ideal for me).

Oh and it matters when people went to bed, isn’t it? Immediately or 5 hours after their late meal… The latter doesn’t make it all good but still, somewhat different I suppose, at least for some people…

(Robin) #11

Same same same…