Does Eating Late Make You Gain Weight?

Most of us have heard that if you are trying to lose weight you shouldn’t eat after 8:00 at night.  So is it true or is it a myth?  Let’s sort through fact and fiction.  The truth is that a calorie is a calorie, and it doesn’t matter what time of day you eat those calories.  If you eat more calories than you burn throughout the day, then you will gain weight.  If you eat fewer calories than you burn throughout the day, then you will lose weight.  Therefore, it is the total calories that are consumed throughout the day, NOT THE TIME at which you eat them.

With that said, food is our body’s source of energy, and we need that energy more throughout the day then we do when we are going to sleep.  So, to maximize energy levels and to keep your metabolism up and running efficiently throughout the day, it is often recommended to frontload your calories (eat a nice breakfast and lunch and a lighter dinner).  This may give some merit to the following saying: “Eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and a pauper at dinner”.

My strongest recommendation would be to plan, plan, plan!  It’s absolutely fine if you want a snack at night…just plan that into your day, and save some calories for the evening snack.  Otherwise, what you eat in the evening will often put you over your daily calorie allotment which will cause weight gain.  Also, think about healthy snack choices in the evening and use pre-portioned items to help keep the serving sizes in check.