Rapid weight loss 'becoming much more accepted' says Mosley

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Dr Michael Mosley revealed those who want to lose weight should avoid late-night eating as it can alter the body’s ability to handle food. He once tested out the theory for himself and the results that came back were “pretty shocking”.

The diet guru began by making an effort to start eating dinner by 7.30pm, as well as avoiding too many late-night snacks.

“Doing so is almost certainly good for the waistline,” he said, confirmed by a recent study from the University of Nottingham and Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran.

The researchers had asked 82 healthy but overweight women to go on a weight loss programme, where half were asked to finish eating by 7.30pm at the latest.

The women didn’t normally finish their evening meals until well after 10pm and after 12 weeks, both groups had lost weight with those who changed to eating earlier in the evening losing more (15lb) compared to that of the late eaters (11lb).

“In other words, just by changing the time they ate the early eaters had shed an extra 4lb,” Dr Mosley explained.

“They also lost an extra inch around the waist and experienced greater improvements in their cholesterol and blood fats.”

He highlighted that these two groups of women still consumed the same amount of calories but the researchers believed that late-night eating might affect the genes that control people’s body clocks, leading to a greater risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

“I wasn’t entirely surprised by this because a few years ago, as part of a science documentary, I did an experiment where I ate a classic British fry-up with lots of bacon, eggs and sausage at 10am and then again at 10pm,” he said.

“Straight after my morning meal I had a blood sample taken, and then again every half-hour for the next few hours.

“After that, I had nothing but water until 10pm, when I had exactly the same meal. Again, my blood was taken regularly over the next few hours.

“When the results of the blood tests came back, they were pretty shocking.”

Dr Mosley recalled after eating a full English fry-up in the morning, his blood sugar and fat levels quickly rose but soon returned to normal as his body used them as fuel or stored them around his gut for later.

“What happened in the evening however, was very different,” he added.

“Despite eating exactly the same meal, my blood sugar levels went up and stayed high for several hours.

“The fat levels in my blood were even worse, still rising at 2am; four hours after I’d finished eating. And the next morning I woke up feeling knackered — and starving.

“Further proof that late-night eating really does alter your ability to handle food comes from a recent study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US, which found that when healthy volunteers had their dinner within an hour of going to bed, they burnt 10 percent less fat overnight than when they stopped eating three hours before shut-eye.”

He went on: “What is clear from many studies is that our bodies don’t like having to deal with lots of food late at night.

“A midnight snack will have a worse impact on you than the same food eaten earlier in the day.”

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