Can't get rid of your last couple of inches of belly fat? Turns out you might be eating at the wrong time.
A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that eating right before you sleep is associated with increased body fat.
The research, which included a group of 110 participants aged 18-22, tracked sleeping and eating behaviour over a 30 day period.
Researchers monitored the correlation between body composition and melatonin release. The results found that "Nonlean individuals ( high body fat) consumed most of their calories 1.1h closer to melatonin onset ( the hormone that makes you go to sleep), which heralds the beginning of the biological night, than did lean individuals ( low body fat). In contrast, there was no differences between lean and nonlean individuals in the clock hour of food consumption.
"The timing of food intake relative melatonin onset was significantly associated with the percentage of body fat and body mass index while controlling for sex, whereas no relations were found between the clock hour of food intake, caloric amount, meal macronutrient compositon, activity or exercise level, or sleep duration and either of these body composition measures."
So while the specific time isn't the concern, the study recommends that you limit your calorie consumption right before you're about to fall asleep.
Are you eating too late? Check out the other 5 bed-time habits stopping you from reaching your muscle goals.