Being aware of the time you consume food is a huge part of weight loss success, researchers say.
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital conducted a study to show how meal times affect your weight.
Eating too close to bedtime, cramming our meals in one or waiting too long to eat in between meals spells doom for weight loss, even if we are healthy eaters, the Daily Mail reported.
Experts say it comes down to giving your body enough time to digest. Our circadian rhythm or body clock affects our metabolism. However, it is not so simple for those working night shifts or odd hours.
For the study, researchers analyzed the data collected from 110 participants. They provided information on body fat, body mass index and what time they consumed food.
The data was then compared with the person's body clock. The participants sleep times and meal intake were observed for 30 days.
"We found that the timing of food intake relative to melatonin onset, a marker of a person's biological night, is associated with higher percent body fat and BMI, and not associated with the time of day, amount or composition of food intake," study author Dr Andrew W. McHill told the Daily Mail. "These findings suggest that the timing of when you consume calories, relative to your own biological timing may be more important for health than the actual time of day."
The study's results provide significant evidence that "consumption of food during the circadian evening" plays a vital role in body composition, the report revealed.