"A growing body of evidence highlights the importance of the biological clock as a modulator of energy balance and metabolism. Recent studies in humans have shown that ingested calories are apparently utilized more efficiently in the morning than in the evening and this is manifest through improved weight loss, even under iso-energetic calorie intake." YES!!!
Book recommendation: Why We Sleep
People eating 3 square meals a day shouldn't be ingesting >40% of their calories late at night. <33% prior to sunset is more like it.
"The SCN of the hypothalamus, the 'master clock,' is primarily regulated by the light/dark cycles in order to synchronise the body to the light cycle or solar day..." but it also must by sync'd to the peripheral clocks! aka 'food-entrainable oscillators' (FEO).
Sure, caffeine and exercise can influence the liver and skeletal muscle clocks, respectively, but for full central & peripheral co-entrainment: FOOD and LIGHT in the morning (exercise and caffeine are optional for this).
Intermittent fasting? Time-restricted feeding? Read on.
"Food intake itself can entrain circadian clocks in tissues such as liver, intestines, and adipose tissue... humans are a diurnal species with light cycle stimulating wakefulness and feeding, darkness initiating sleeping and fasting."
Misalignment between normal feed/fast, day/night, and sleep/wake cycles may desynchronize central and peripheral regulations of metabolic processes and contribute to obesity and metabolic disorders. Further, increased risk of obesity and related health conditions have been associated with breakfast skipping and late night feeding.
This is a circadian phenomenon: "acute breakfast omission alters clock gene expression and increases postprandial glycemic response." Many of these effects occur under isocaloric conditions controlled for protein intake.
Morning calorie consumption is associated with improvements in fasting glucose, insulin, and triglycerides, glucose tolerance, as well as lower hunger scores. Metabolism is gimped at night (lower thermic effect of feeding) and you're more likely to store fat at this time.
Get a good night's sleep and eat breakfast in the morning. You'll unwittingly make better food choices, engage in more physical activity and less sedentary behaviors, and experience improved nutrient partitioning.
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