Scientists at University of California, San Francisco, are studying how our food clocks work on a molecular level, according to this article at Sciencedaily.com.
They’ve found that a protein called PKCy helps us reset our food clock if we change our eating habits, especially if we overeat during the holidays.
The work has implications for understanding the molecular basis of diabetes, obesity and other metabolic syndromes because a desynchronized food clock may serve as part of the pathology underlying these disorders, said Louis Ptacek, MD, the John C. Coleman Distinguished Professor of Neurology at UCSF and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
It may also help explain why night owls are more likely to be obese than morning larks, Ptacek said.
“Understanding the molecular mechanism of how eating at the “wrong” time of the day desynchronizes the clocks in our body can facilitate the development of better treatments for disorders associated with night-eating syndrome, shift work and jet lag,” he added.
I’m a night owl and an early bird but I’ve found out that getting more sleep is essential to my ability to lose weight. At work, I eat my breakfast and lunch at the same time, my schedule is just too packed to take two breaks. But I’ve learned to make really healthy choices.
Still, I notice on the rare occasions when I take a day off from everything I eat a healthy breakfast and lunch but do it a couple of times a day! I’m not bored, usually I’m reading or writing or studying, but somehow I’m hungrier than usual. I’m still able to eat a normal dinner but also want a snack after dinner, too, which I don’t usually do.
It always seems to take a few days after these minor binge-days (which in truth only occur two or three times a year) to get rid of oddly-timed hunger pangs. Apparently, my food clock takes a while to reset.
Most of us who have tried dieting know that it can be really hard to not eat. It really feels like you are retraining your biological systems to make do with less food, it’s not just about hunger.
See God and My Weight Loss for some insights I gained while trying to lose weight.
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Last reviewed: 25 Dec 2012