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  1. #1
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    RCT finds early dinner better for weight loss than late dinner

    Interesting study

    82 Healthy women [BMI = 27- 35 kg/m2; age= 18-45 y] were randomly assigned into two hypo-caloric weight loss groups: Early Evening Meal Group (at 7:00-7:30 PM), (EEM), or Late Evening Meal Group (at 10:30-11:00 PM), (LEM) for 12 weeks. Baseline variables were not significantly different between the groups. A significant reduction in anthropometric measurements and significant improvements in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism characteristics were detected over the 12 weeks in both groups.

    Compared with LEM Group (mean± SD), EEM Group had a greater reduction in weight (EEM: -6.74 ± 1.92kg ; LEM: -4.81 ± 2.22kg; P<0.001), BMI (EEM: -2.60 ± 0.71kg/m²; LEM: -1.87 ±0.85kg/ m² ; P<0.001), waist circumference (EEM: -8± 3.25cm; LEM: -6± 3.05cm, P=0.007), total cholesterol (EEM: -0.51 ± 0.19 mmol/l, LEM: -0.43 ± 0.19 mmol/l, P=0.038), triglyceride (EEM: -0.28 ± 0.10 mmol/l, LEM: -0.19 ± 0.10 mmol/l, P<0.001, HOMA IR (EEM: -0.83 ±0.37; LEM: -0.55 ± 0.28, P<0.001) and fasting insulin (EEM: -2.64 ± 1.49 m IU/ml; LEM: -1.43 ± 0.88 m IU/ml; P<0.001) after the 12 weeks.

    In conclusion, eating an earlier evening meal resulted in favorable changes in weight loss during a 12-week weight loss program. It may also offer clinical benefits concerning changes in plasma cardio-metabolic risk markers.
    Effects of consuming later evening meal versus earlier evening meal on weight loss during a Weight Loss Diet: a randomized clinical trial
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33172509/
    Last edited by Mrpb; 11-19-2020 at 09:03 AM.
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    Forum glitch prevents me from editing first post.

    "Participants were assigned to a hypo-energetic diet with a mainly high carbohydrate, low-saturated-fat dietary pattern [17% of energy from protein, 23% from fat (<10% from saturated fat), and 60% from carbohydrate- with at least 400 g/d fruits and vegetables to achieve a fiber intake recommendation of 25g/ d (20)]. All participants were new to the program and were not previously under any of NovinDiet Clinic program.The diet program was planned to introduce a 500-1000 kcal energy deficit based on estimated energy requirements at the start of the study. Participants consumed 15% of their energy intake
    at breakfast and 15% with their snacks, 50% of daily energy intake at lunch and 20% at dinner (In both EEM and LEM groups), according to their diet but there was no particular nutrient composition recommendation for the evening meal."

    Looks like dietary intake was all self reported. That's a big drawback.
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    Protein bar nightcap? desslok's Avatar
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    5/100ths of a pound per week difference? Meh, i’ll keep eating late so I don’t wake up starving at 3 Am
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    Originally Posted by desslok View Post
    5/100ths of a pound per week difference? Meh, i’ll keep eating late so I don’t wake up starving at 3 Am
    This x10000
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    Originally Posted by desslok View Post
    5/100ths of a pound per week difference? Meh, i’ll keep eating late so I don’t wake up starving at 3 Am
    The difference was actually 0.35 pound per week, in a study with (supposedly) matched calories so IMO that's interesting. But they found more health benefits to earlier dinner. For example it was better for insulin sensitivity as well.

    And of course there are a lot more studies showing similar things. Late night eating generally doesn't do well in studies.

    For me personally waking up starving at night is caused by total caloric intake, not by timing of my dinner.
    Last edited by Mrpb; 11-19-2020 at 12:41 PM.
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    Wonder if it's a byproduct or specific to body's design.
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    I haven't read that specific study yet but for those curious I compiled a lot of this research here: https://www.healthierwithscience.com...f-when-we-eat/

    It does overall seem better to eat earlier in the day, but it's unclear how this relates to time of exercise during the day (most studies do not include an exercise component).
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    The difference was actually 0.35 pound per week, in a study with (supposedly) matched calories so IMO that's interesting. But they found more health benefits to earlier dinner. For example it was better for insulin sensitivity as well.

    And of course there are a lot more studies showing similar things. Late night eating generally doesn't do well in studies.

    For me personally waking up starving at night is caused by total caloric intake, not by timing of my dinner.
    Well, THAT's a pretty hefty difference.

    Still love my pre-bed meals too much, makes me sleep so much better, which is something that I struggle with on and off. I'm gonna justify my actions by saying the better sleep offsets the benefits from eating earlier. Yeah, that sounds good.

    Might save that strategy just for if I ever want to cut again lol
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  9. #9
    Common sense/moderation. gbullock32's Avatar
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    Dinner at 0630ish after I get off work, nightshift. Guess I am way ahead of the game on early dinner.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    I have to leave at least 2.5 hours after dinner for digestion before going to bed... otherwise, I just don't digest as well and sleep takes a major hit.
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Common sense/moderation. gbullock32's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    I have to leave at least 2.5 hours after dinner for digestion before going to bed... otherwise, I just don't digest as well and sleep takes a major hit.
    Finish eating then right to bed for me, never been an issue and helps me sleep. My Dad has problems eating near sleep though, bad heart burn. Luck of the drawl it seems when it comes to it.
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    Protein bar nightcap? desslok's Avatar
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    I’ll start having dinner at 7:29PM then, but will still have my late night snack at 10:30.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gbullock32 View Post
    Finish eating then right to bed for me, never been an issue and helps me sleep. My Dad has problems eating near sleep though, bad heart burn. Luck of the drawl it seems when it comes to it.
    Yup, that's me.

    If I have food in my stomach when I lay down, I'll basically wake up feeling like it's still there... no bueno.

    Even beyond that tho, digestion slows down in pretty much all aspects during rest, so in a sense going to bed with solid food in your stomach is probably sub-optimal... but for me, it's a comfort thing.
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Originally Posted by Nicksosure1 View Post
    Well, THAT's a pretty hefty difference.

    Still love my pre-bed meals too much, makes me sleep so much better, which is something that I struggle with on and off. I'm gonna justify my actions by saying the better sleep offsets the benefits from eating earlier. Yeah, that sounds good.

    Might save that strategy just for if I ever want to cut again lol
    Out of curiosity, what meals are best for your sleep?
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Out of curiosity, what meals are best for your sleep?
    Well, it’s kinda odd at times. A lot of times it’s something that sits rather heavy, but low carb and more in the vegetable-heavy kind of things. If I need to get more in towards bed, I’ll have this kind of thing often:

    Boil, bake, or steam some vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) and mild and/or sweet peppers, and throw just a tiny bit of meat in there.

    I’ll season a bit and eat that, wait a few minutes, then I’ll make a small almond milk/bit of fruit/protein shake and drink it right before going down. Not because I want protein or fat or anything specific pre-bed, it just tastes really nice after something like cooked veg and peppers. So really something protein and fat dominant that’s rather heavy but digests a little faster than one usually would.

    I tend to avoid carbs pre-bed(with the exception of fruit really), but not because it makes my sleep any worse. I kind of wake up either starving or feeling like my stomach is just not as satisfied.

    I can have some pasta or something carb-heavy a little while before that and be fine. But I always like ending on something of the mix above’s nature usually.
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    Originally Posted by Nicksosure1 View Post
    Well, THAT's a pretty hefty difference.

    Still love my pre-bed meals too much, makes me sleep so much better, which is something that I struggle with on and off. I'm gonna justify my actions by saying the better sleep offsets the benefits from eating earlier. Yeah, that sounds good.

    Might save that strategy just for if I ever want to cut again lol
    Im the same way. I sleep so much better after I eat, better than actually taking sleeping medications. If I sleep better I tend to eat better the next day because I’m not trying to off set being tired with impulse snacks and I workout so much better. Also, my anxiety is better when I sleep better
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    Does the study say why it's beneficial to eat earlier (or perhaps an interpretation in layman's terms)? Personally I hate it when I eat close to bed time (e.g. eating out at a restaurant) because the food sort of just sits in my stomach.
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    Always eat dinner at 5 crew checking in. I also experience disturbed sleep when eating later, especially if alcohol is involved too.

    Bear in mind that any change in meal patterns will take time to feel normal. Ghrelin entrainment takes at least a week and there are probably other processes going on which are not as well known too. It could be possible to get used to eating at 8. For example, pretty much the whole of Spain (and a lot of European countries) eat really late (8pm would be considered early) and they don't generally have a problem with obesity. I realise there are a lot of factors that feed into this obviously.
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    Originally Posted by xuerebx View Post
    Does the study say why it's beneficial to eat earlier (or perhaps an interpretation in layman's terms)? Personally I hate it when I eat close to bed time (e.g. eating out at a restaurant) because the food sort of just sits in my stomach.
    "As a possible explanation for our results, it could be hypothesized that the late eating pattern could influence on circadian genes (SIRT1 and CLOCK loci), which may cause late eaters to be more prone to put on weight and to have less ability to lose it. There is evidence that people carrying minor alleles at both the SIRT1 and CLOCK loci had a significantly weight loss resistance which is associated with late evening preference (31). A delayed circadian rhythm in late eaters is also associated with the lower insulin sensitivity (32) and metabolic changes (33) through hormonal changes which leads to be overweight and obesity (34).However, further studies are needed to investigate the actual mechanism behind the results.

    In terms of the effects of meal time on glycemic and lipid profiles, both EEM and LEM Groups led to an improvement in cardiometabolic risk factors, which would have been expected given that the participants had lost weight, and showed a reduced WC. However, the EEM group showed a greater reduction in fasting insulin and HOMA-IR in comparison with the LEM group. Our results are consistent with a previous report of relatively impaired insulin responses and lipid tolerance following meals consumed at night (35) and other studies have shown that insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance fall gradually during the day with insulin sensitivity reaching the lowest level in the evening(11, 36) . Our findings are also in agreement with a previous clinical trial in which, despite similar daily total energy intakes, different energy intakes between breakfast and dinner affected carbohydrate and lipid profiles (37)."
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    IIRC Dr Rhonda Patrick said on JRE that a study where they had a 12 hour fasting window led to more weight loss than the same calories spread throughout, although I think it was in rats and not humans? Rogan's nutrition advise is typically hot garbage, but this did come from a PhD citing what I presume was a peer-reviewed study, so maybe there is some truth to it.
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    Originally Posted by broganoff View Post
    IIRC Dr Rhonda Patrick said on JRE that a study where they had a 12 hour fasting window led to more weight loss than the same calories spread throughout, although I think it was in rats and not humans? Rogan's nutrition advise is typically hot garbage, but this did come from a PhD citing what I presume was a peer-reviewed study, so maybe there is some truth to it.
    Perhaps she was referring to studies where early time restricted feeding was better than late TRF. I think there are a coupe of those. Basically the same eating window just at different times of the day.

    I think it's fair to say that if you're trying to get health benefits from IF you should probably have your eating window early, not late.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Perhaps she was referring to studies where early time restricted feeding was better than late TRF. I think there are a coupe of those. Basically the same eating window just at different times of the day.

    I think it's fair to say that if you're trying to get health benefits from IF you should probably have your eating window early, not late.

    I think there may potentially be an interplay between glucose/insulin control while sleeping and later in the day that makes it a better option.

    Because insulin sensitivity is generally better in the earlier hours and likely lowest while we sleep, it makes sense that from a recovery and hormonal point of view, having a lower digestive burden while at rest would reap the most benefit in terms of sleep quality, blood sugar, and recovery.
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    Here's a 2015 study that's a bit of a counterweight to this one: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425165/. It shows that small bedtime meals result in a number of positive physiological changes and adverse effects in obese individuals are fully countered by exercise.

    Also, to everyone ITT saying eating before bed helps you sleep, it's well-documented that carbs before bed shorten sleep onset: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17284739/. This is one reason why many people struggle to sleep on keto or other low carb diets. If you're going low carb, t can be good to "save" your highest gi meal for the nighttime from a sleep standpoint.

    For me, eating before bed is a catch-22. It helps me fall asleep, but it disrupts my digestion & gives me heartburn, so I end up awakening more frequently. If I struggle with falling asleep, I typically just have some simple carbs like a bowl of cereal or oatmeal and it tends to help.
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    Since there is mention of “circadian rhythm” , it would also be interesting to know the time of year this study was done. Was it still light outside when this was done? If they repeated the study when its dark at 5PM, would the results be similar?
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    Originally Posted by Strawng View Post
    Here's a 2015 study that's a bit of a counterweight to this one: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425165/. It shows that small bedtime meals result in a number of positive physiological changes and adverse effects in obese individuals are fully countered by exercise.
    In my opinion that's not really a fair summary of the review. The review actually contains a lot of studies that support adverse effects of late night eating. The only exception they really make is for a protein shake at night which boosts overnight muscle protein synthesis.

    Well they do make another exception but that only applies to people with glycogen storage diseases and T1D.

    Also, to everyone ITT saying eating before bed helps you sleep, it's well-documented that carbs before bed shorten sleep onset: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17284739/. This is one reason why many people struggle to sleep on keto or other low carb diets. If you're going low carb, t can be good to "save" your highest gi meal for the nighttime from a sleep standpoint.
    True. And the study showed that the high GI carb meal eaten 4h before bed was more effective at shortening sleep onset than eating the same meal 1h before bed.
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    Another aspect that has only been evaluated in a few studies is the concept of chronotype. The health effects of late night eating seem to differ between night owls and early risers. I discuss one study showing this in my course I linked to above.

    There is still quite a bit of research to be done in this field.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    "[snip]."
    Thanks -I wasn't able to find the full text from the link.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    True. And the study showed that the high GI carb meal eaten 4h before bed was more effective at shortening sleep onset than eating the same meal 1h before bed.
    Wow, it’s been so long since I originally read that study that I totally forgot that. In any case, carbs sometime around bed still seem to be helpful I suppose. This could obviously be done with an early dinner if you can eat it 4 hours pre-bed for best results.

    Still, I think the post-meal fatigue & PNS activation from eating people get could help some people sleep at night. There are countless studies to provide evidence for this “postprandial somnolence” as it’s called in the literature, but bone of them at night AFAIK.
    Last edited by Strawng; 11-21-2020 at 12:01 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Strawng View Post
    Wow, it’s been so long since I originally read that study that I totally forgot that. In any case, carbs sometime around bed still seem to be helpful I suppose. This could obviously be done with an early dinner if you can eat it 4 hours pre-bed for best results.

    Still, I think the post-meal fatigue & PNS activation from eating people get could help some people sleep at night. There are countless studies to provide evidence for this “postprandial somnolence” as it’s called in the literature, but bone of them at night AFAIK.
    yeah while it may be effective to have the “postprandial somnolence” help one fall a sleep, I'm not sure about the effects on sleep quality. Unfortunately that study didn't objectively measure sleep quality iirc.
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