Apr.18: HEALTH MATTERS
- Posted by CERC India
- Posted in April
Did you know our body clocks also shape our waistlines? Â
Timing of meals, internal clocks, sleep and exercise all need to be in a healthy balance
When it comes to weight management, when you eat is as important as what and how much you eat. Eating against the body clock leads to weight gain and metabolic diseases like type-2 diabetes. Research has also shown that working out in the morning is more beneficial in terms of weight loss than exercising in the late evening.
Our bodyâ€™s circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle, is controlled by a master clock deep in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. But there are other peripheral clocks in other organs like the stomach, intestine, pancreas, liver and even in the adipose tissue (body fat). If the peripheral clocks are out of sync with the master clock, it can adversely affect a personâ€™s metabolism.Â
Take the case of late night eating. The master clock is telling the other clocks that it is time to rest. But the clock in the pancreas has to start releasing insulin listening to signals related to food intake. These conflicting cues upset metabolic balance.
In a recentÂ studyÂ titled â€˜Timing of intake and obesity: A novel associationâ€™ researchers reported that those who had a high caloric intake during breakfast lost significantly more weight than those who had a high caloric intake at dinner. TheÂ authorsÂ concluded that the timing of food consumption, especially high-calorie meals, may be a decisive factor for adipose genes to either accumulate fat or to mobilize it.
In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the timing of food intake of participants was recorded. It was found that those with a higher percentage of body fat ate most of their calories an hour closer to when the sleep hormone melatonin starts acting at night.
Body clock and exercise
Researchers have also found that individuals who exercise in the morning have a healthier circadian rhythm and better metabolic function than those who exercise in the late evening. Hence exercising in accordance with the body clock too has an impact on weight loss.
Sources: www.reuters.com, www.npr.org, www.livescience.com, www.wellnessresources.com