Never Eat After 8PM?

A common diet belief, supported now and again by skinny celebrities, is that refraining from calories in the evening is a valid weight loss strategy. So far, this approach has not been supported by any scientific evidence. The recommendation from health professionals is to focus on overall calorie intake and to spread it equally throughout the day.

A new study from Israel may be changing this recommendation. Scientists from the Weizmann Institute have discovered that the timing of nutrient intake may actually have significance! In a groundbreaking study, researchers tracked mitochondria – the energy plants present in most cells. Mitochondria convert nutrients from food into ATP, the fuel our cells run on to perform their various functions.

It turns out that mitochondria behave in a cyclical fashion over the course of the day. They are more efficient in converting food to fuel when the cells are expected to be most active. The study was conducted on mice, which are nocturnal. They were divided into 2 groups that received the same amount of calories to eat. One group ate only at night (when active), and the other throughout the day and night.

The liver lipid levels of the mice eating only when active were 50% lower compared to the mice eating all day long. How does this translate to humans? It’s still a bit early to tell, but if our body works the same, we should be eating when our body is most active.

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