A new research found that instead of resorting to three meals a day, Americans tend to constantly snack on things while they are awake.
Researchers say that Americans tend to consume food for 15 hours or more each day, depending on how long they stay awake. They also get their most amount of calorie intake after 6 pm.
The new mobile app called ‘myCircadianclock’ was developed in an effort to record eating behaviours, and to correct them when needed. People can now use the app in order to check their calorie intake every two weeks, by looking at their ‘feedogram’, a diagram which shows the calories that they have consumed over the past two weeks.
“Most participants thought they don’t eat or drink that regularly outside their breakfast-lunch-dinner routine,” stated Satchidananda Panda, an associate professor in the Regulatory Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. However, the app showed different results.
In a study, researchers asked about 150 women and men from San Diego, ages 21 to 55, to track their calorie intake by clicking on photos of drinks and foods that they consume each day. The app then calculates all the calories, while also showing the exact place and time the participants ate the food.
After three weeks, the results showed that for some of the participants the eating patterns were generally continuous. In other words, people ate as long as they were awake. More than 50 percent of the participants ate for periods of approximately 15 hours each day.
As a follow-up, the researchers did another experiment which involved eight participants who suffered from obesity. After tracking their dietary patterns they found that these people ate for more than 14 hours each day.
For 16 weeks, the participants were restricted to 10 to 11 hours of feeding periods. Using the app, they tracked their own dietary patterns. At the end of the 16 weeks, the results showed that by restricting their food intake, the participants managed to reduce their daily calorie intake by almost 20 percent. In addition to that, they lost about 3.5 percent of their initial weight, or roughly seven pounds (3.17 kilograms). The participants also reported higher energy levels and improved sleep.
Another thing that the researchers found, was that people who want to lose weight should abstain from eating food in the evening or at night, and instead consume their calorie intake during the day.
Image Source: hemophiliafed