Health topic of the week
“Late-night eating promotes weight gain”
“Never Eat Before Bed”
Can a late-night dinner ruin a day’s worth of healthy eating? It’s time to find out.
This myth stems from the long-rumored belief that you should stop eating two hours before you go to sleep. Has any reputable expert ever stated that this myth is fact?
NO, simply because it’s a bunch of B.S(!). You don’t gain more fat from the calories you consume if you eat them at 9 p.m. versus 7 p.m. Like I the title says- calories don’t tell time! You will consume the same amount of calories whether you eat them earlier or later, and your body will digest those calories the exact same way.
Fact: It is not about what TIME you eat, but WHAT you eat that matters. If the meal that you eat late at night consists of healthy food, then you don’t need to worry about anything. Eating a bucket of ice cream instead of a bowl of salad anytime of the day will promote weight gain. Eating protein before bedtime can help you sleep well and gain muscle mass.
“They found no link between when the animals ate and whether or not they put on weight.
Speaking at a Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans, the scientists said claims that eating late lead to weight gain may be “an urban myth”. Dr Judy Cameron and colleagues came across the finding almost by accident.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Weight Control Information Network web site, “it does not matter what time of day you eat. It is what and how much you eat and how much physical activity you do during the whole day that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight.”
So remember there’s nothing wrong with eating a light, healthy snack after dinner as long as you plan for it as part of your daily calories. To keep from overeating, pay attention to your food while eating, avoid eating in front of the TV, and choose a portion-controlled snack.
People eat at night for a variety of reasons that often have little to do with hunger, from satisfying cravings to coping with boredom or stress. And after-dinner snacks tend not to be controlled. They often consist of large portions of high-calorie foods (like chips, cookies, candy), eaten while sitting in front of the television or computer. In this situation, it’s all too easy to consume the entire bag, carton, or container before you realize it. Besides those unnecessary extra calories, eating too close to bedtime can cause indigestion and sleeping problems.
When you’re trying to lose weight, eat regular meals and consume 90% of your calories before 8 p.m. The benefit of eating meals every three to four hours is it helps regulate your blood sugar, and thus control hunger and cravings. *
The Bottom Line:
More research is needed on humans to determine whether calories eaten at night are more likely to cause weight gain than those eaten early in the day.
You’ll consume the same amount of calories whenever you decide to eat — yet when some people eat late at night, they’re more likely to over eat and skip breakfast the next day. Keep that in mind and plan your meals out ahead of time, and avoid overeating by stopping eating when you are full!
And remember the truth: It doesn’t matter what time you eat — the only thing that matters is the AMOUNT of calories you’re consuming.