Will eating after 8 p.m. cause me to gain weight?

posted Jan 3, 2011, 6:43 AM by Daniel Choi   [ updated Jan 7, 2011, 12:25 PM ]
Question:
Will eating after 8 p.m. cause me to gain weight?

Answer:
Your body doesn’t know what time it is. It’s not like a meal at 6 p.m. will be stored in your muscles or burned for immediate energy, yet suddenly that same meal at 8 p.m. will go straight to your butt. Instead, your body recognizes an accumulation of calories over time, or a deficit of calories over time.


So why is it that so many diets ban eating after 6 or 7 p.m.? For many, the evening hours are when willpower falters. So it’s not simply that you’re eating late at night; it’s what you’re eating late at night. Cookies, ice cream, chips, crackers — all those mindless nighttime nibbles can add up to hundreds, even thousands of calories.

Dinner at 8 p.m.? No sweat. Just make sure it’s a sensible dinner (most people can get by with a lean protein entree, veggies on the side, and salad) and curb the late-night munchies. For good digestion, try to allow at least two hours between dinner and bedtime.
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