In a new study published in the Cell Metabolism journal, research has found that late eating causes people to consume more calories than those who tend to eat early.
The research compared people who tended to eat their meals four hours later than the early-eating group.
The study found that those who eat breakfast and meals early in the day tend to be less hungry. Eating early also tends to increase a person's body temperature, causing more calories to burn.
"Our results show that late eating consistently altered physiological functions and biological processes involved in regulation of energy intake, expenditure, and storage—each of these three in a direction favoring weight gain," the researchers wrote.
Researchers said that late eating caused people to expend less energy during the day.
The study was relatively small, including 16 people ages 20-60.