DIET AND FITNESS:

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Does It Matter When You Eat?
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Last updated February 19, 2017 (originally published April 14, 201
3)

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist




When Should You Stop Eating Before Bed?  

How long before bedtime should you stop eating?
Researchers at the University of Calgary say we should eat
when we are active during the day.

Eating right before bed is not a good idea, according to
many experts. Three hours before bed is the cut-off.

Eating within three hours of going to bed increases your
blood sugar levels, raises your body temperature and
interferes with your quality of sleep.

A 2012 study from the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
looked at shift workers who consumer most of their daily
energy intake at night or in the evening, and who have a
higher risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.
Patients were more at risk of high glucose levels when they
ate large meals late in the evening.

And while we may have
suspected that late-night eating is a
bad idea, now we can prove it.  There is actual evidence that
late-night snacking causes weight gain and health problems.

A 2009 study from Northwestern University, Evanston,
Illinois found eating at night increased weight gain due to
the disruption of the body’s circadian rhythms. Mice fed a
high-fat diet during the hours they would normally sleep
gained a lot more weight than mice fed the same food during
waking hours.

A 2006 study from the University of Washington School of
Medicine, Seattle discovered night-eating syndrome
(excessive eating in the evening) contributes to poorly
regulated glucose and complications in patients with
diabetes. And a 2007 study from The Alfred Hospital,
Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria found eating at night
is linked with obesity and psychological problems.

Eating and Exercise





























What about your workout? Is it better to eat before or after
you run or swim?

Certain studies say exercising on an empty stomach is the
best way to maximize your weight loss and improve
performance – for example, a 2012 study by the Institute of
Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow,
Scotland suggests that there could be an advantage for body
fat regulation and lipid metabolism in people exercising
before, compared with after, breakfast.

However, the study was small and looked at only 10 men.
Other experts say to never exercise on an empty stomach
because you need energy to be able to work-out properly
and safely.

According to a 2000 study from the University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill moderate- to high-intensity workouts
lasting 35-40 minutes are improved by eating a meal three
hours before exercise compared to a similar meal six hours
before.

Athletes, researchers said, should not skip meals before
training sessions. You do need to eat a high-carb, low-fat
meal or snack within 45 minutes of working out, to aid
recovery and boost metabolism.

So how do we know when to eat for better health and
weight loss? According to the American Dietetic Association
you should eat when you are truly hungry but not
completely starving, and you need to ask yourself the
following questions: Am I hungry? How long ago did I last
eat? (If you ate less than three hours ago you may be
confusing your hunger with thirst, or habit.) Could I have a
small snack rather than a full meal? (If so, choose fruits and
vegetables over chips and chocolate.)

Eating a regular amount of small, healthy meals during the
day when you are
truly hungry seems the sensible way to
time your calorie intake.

On way to avoid eating before you are truly hungry is to
time how many hours pass since your last meal. Try to space
your meals 3 to 4 hours apart to avoid reflexive eating.

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