Healthy Choices

Say "No" to Late Night Dining

When trying to lose weight, people have often been told to not eat anything after 6 or 7 p.m. Northwestern University did an experiment to see if this was true. They fed two groups of mice an identical high-fat diet — but fed them at different times. (Mice are better volunteers than people.) The control group was fed during the active part of their day. The experimental group was fed shortly before they went to sleep for the day. At the end of the six-week period, the control rats gained 20 percent of their body weight, but the experimental group simulating late-night eaters showed a 48 percent increase.

While the study should be repeated with human volunteers, it does suggest late-night eating may contribute to excessive weight gain. Study researchers also pointed out that, in our society today, most people eat the majority of their calories after sunset — and more than 60 percent of all adults are overweight.

Other research shows if you go to bed with a full stomach, the body stores extra fat most of the night. When sleeping with an empty stomach, your body burns almost pure fat during the night (mobilizing energy from fat stores).

Enjoy Life for Health

Researchers have discovered people who don't have much fun may be nearly twice as likely to die from a heart attack as those who enjoy life the most. Their studies also showed stroke levels of the group were also significantly higher (75 percent). For heart health, take time to have some fun — it's part of a balanced lifestyle. Take time to enjoy good friends, good food, good music and good experiences. Walk in the park. You will not only enjoy life more, but you will also be healthier and live longer.

Featured in: December 2009


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