As a NYS certified dietitian nutritionist, I work with many individuals who need to manage their weight as well as health issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease (cardiometabolic diseases). In my last blog I explained and discussed Chrononutrition. Now I can expound on the relationship to and potential benefits of time time-restricted eating.
Let’s start with basics: Weight gain occurs when energy intake exceeds energy expenditure, and these excess calories from food are stored as fat. But new research suggests this is not the entire story. What has been observed for a long time, but poorly understood, is that overnutrition can disrupt circadian rhythms (as explained in the previous blog), and these internal clocks will then disrupt metabolism.
As Dr. Joseph T. Bass, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feignberg School of Medicine, says “It is well known, albeit poorly understood, that insults to the body clock are going to be insults to metabolism.” Moreover, Bass continues to say that “our clock gets scrambled”, particularly with a diet high in fat with highly refined carbohydrates, a western diet.
Though eating meals and/or snacks late in the day has been linked to an increased risk of obesity for some time, it has been unclear whether this is caused by changes in hunger and appetite, energy expenditure, or both, and whether molecular pathways in adipose tissues are involved. The findings of recent research show that all these factors converge and result in positive energy balance and increased obesity. Thus, the circadian timing of food intake alters energy intake, expenditure, and storage, increasing the probability of weight gain.
To put it simply, there is a link between weight gain and late-night eating. As a Long Island RDN, I work with patients to help them lose weight and promote health. Nutrition therapy includes modifying and moderating what patients eat as well as their eating behaviors and practices.
In summary, there is a relationship between the internal clock (circadian rhythm) and an individual’s metabolism and weight. For those having difficulty with weight management, these studies support the use of Time-Restricted Eating.
- Science Daily
- Science Magazine
- Cell Metabolism, Volume 34, Issue 10, 4 October 2022, Pages 1420-1421, 1486-1498.e7
- Adafer R, Messaadi W, Meddahi M, Patey A, Haderbache A, Bayen S, Messaadi N. Food Timing, Circadian Rhythm and Chrononutrition: A Systematic Review of Time-Restricted Eating’s Effects on Human Health. Nutrients. 2020; 12(12):3770. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12123770 PMID: 33302500; PMCID: PMC7763532.
- Oike H, Oishi K, Kobori M. Nutrients, Clock Genes, and Chrononutrition. Curr Nutr Rep. 2014 Apr 27;3(3):204-212. doi: 10.1007/s13668-014-0082-6. PMID: 25101217; PMCID: PMC4118017.
- Duszka K, Wahli W. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors as Molecular Links between Caloric Restriction and Circadian Rhythm. Nutrients. 2020; 12(11):3476.