Watching your weight could be as a simple as watching the clock.
That’s the latest advice from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, who found eating later in the day can promote weight gain and lead to diabetes and heart disease.
The research team’s findings are the first of their kind to offer experimental evidence around the risks associated with eating meals later in the day and discovered that eating between certain hours is better for you.
The study compared nine adults aged between 23 and 29 who underwent two different daily mealtime patterns: a daytime pattern, and a delayed eating pattern – both of which lasted for eight weeks.
For the daytime pattern, participants ate three meals and two snacks between 8 am and 7 pm; for the delayed pattern, they ate the same meals between 12 pm and 11 pm.
Results found that eating later in the day lead to weight gain and had a negative effect on fasting glucose, insulin, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
The study’s senior author Kelly Allison says their findings suggest that "eating earlier in the day may be worth the effort to help prevent these detrimental chronic health effects."
She concludes: "We have an extensive knowledge of how overeating affects health and body weight, but now we have a better understanding of how our body processes foods at different times of day over a long period of time."
This article originally appeared on Starts at 60.