Eating healthy at all times requires a special kind of willpower that only a few possess. But it turns out certain lifestyle choices may help you to harness this culinary self-control, as pointed out by a study in Obesity. The researchers found that early risers are more likely to have healthier eating habits compared to those who favor the snooze button.
"Early birds may have an extra advantage over night owls when it comes to fighting obesity as they are instinctively choosing to eat healthier foods earlier in the day," said The Obesity Society spokesperson Courtney Peterson, PhD, of the findings. "Previous studies have shown that eating earlier in the day may help with weight loss and lower the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. What this new study shows is that our biological clocks not only affect our metabolism but also what we choose to eat."
To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers analyzed data from 2000 randomly chosen people to determine whether their biological clock rhythm or their circadian rhythm influenced their eating decisions. In the end, morning people made healthier choices throughout the day, while night owls ate less protein and more sugar, fat, and saturated fatty acids throughout the day.
This difference was even more pronounced over the weekends. Evening types had more irregular meal times, ate twice as often, and were less physically active overall. On the bright side, this study shows that "clinicians can help steer people to healthier options—and suggest the optimal time to eat these foods—based on what we now know about our biological clocks," concluded Peterson.
Night owls: Do you find this to be true? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.