When you’re trying to keep your diet under control, snacking, especially late-night snacking, can pull the rug out from under you. Not only are late-night snacks more likely to be unhealthy and full of sugar, new research is showing that they cause problems specifically because they are eaten late, and not for the reason you may think. Breaking old habits is hard, but confining your calorie intake to a set time window is an important step towards weight control and overall fitness.

There’s a time to eat and a time to not eat

After a 2012 study showed that using a diet with set hours was healthier than one without, researchers at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies again conducted a series of experiment on laboratory mice. This time to see how much better eating within a nutrient window was than allowing snacks before rest. The results of both studies were published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

According to Satchidananda Panda, a Salk associate professor working on both studies, “…Many people don’t have access to healthy diets. So the question is, without access to a healthy diet, can they still practice time-restricted feeding and reap some benefit?”

The answer was a yes for the mice. Even obese mice, when given a 9-hour daily window of food consumption, lost an average of 5% of their body weight in just a few days. Mice were able to eat just as much as before, except only within the 9 hour period. This alone was enough to not only stop gaining weight, but lose it too, all with the same amount of calories as before.

Positive results were found for every test group using a restricted time window, including obese mice, diabetic mice and already healthy ones. When the window was used on the diets of healthy mice, they ended up with more lean muscle mass. It’s unknown whether this was because they gained muscle or because the window prevented them from losing it.

Sleep gets more important every day

Why does this happen in mice? Could it be beneficial to humans? According to the study authors, maintaining a restricted period of time in which you can eat, whether it’s 8, 9, or even 12 hours, helps the internal systems of your body function better no matter who you are. This includes more efficient enzyme production, better levels of gut flora, improved Insulin Efficiency, disease prevention and more.

During the hours when you are most active, like at work, school or in the early evening, you’re body is too. It’s evolved over time to function on a day-night cycle, meaning it’s better prepared for food in the day than at night. Your internal clock is a powerful force, even on the bacteria in your gut.

What you should do

Our understanding of how the body works is a primary component of the Olumia Life system. The way proper sleep hygiene affects your health is both important and far-reaching.

With the Olumia Life Nutrition system, you’ll have lots of great-tasting food during the day. Not only does it fill you up, eating a diet higher in protein helps curb your appetite for longer after meals.

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