While some studies show those who skip breakfast may be heavier it is probably not that they are eating later in the day but the fact they are overeating later in the day. Researchers carried out experiments on female monkeys found no link between when the animals ate and whether or not they put on weight. For the monkeys and for us, it really boils down to calories taken in versus calories burned. However beware; late-night eating can lead to extra pounds, but it’s not because of the time of day. It’s because eating late at night is likely to involve alcohol and socializing, two factors that often lead us to over-eat! So as long as our overall calorie intake is in line with our needs, eating a light meal even with a beer or glass of wine to wind down late at night, after the theater should be fine.
A Answers (3)
Leigh Vinocur, MD, Emergency Medicine, answered
National Academy of Sports Medicine answeredWell, it depends what you are eating, but there is not an enzyme or metabolic system that shuttles food to fat based upon the hour of the day. It is not uncommon for people to eat a lot of their daily calories later in the day, especially from dinner to bedtime. Also, many people tend to crave and indulge in sweets and other comfort foods during these hours. With that in mind, it is quite possible that for many, evening eating contributes to their weight gain. The solution for this is not to stop eating at night, but rather to space your calories throughout the day more efficiently and remove the poor food choices from the cupboard, making it considerably harder to over indulge. If you tend to overeat at night, make sure you eat a good healthy breakfast. Many studies show that this can cut down on hunger later in the evening. Do not skip meals, as this only makes you much hungrier later. Once you know how many calories you should be eating to lose or maintain your weight, spread them throughout the day and save some for the evening. That way you know what you can eat and you can do so with peace of mind.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
Chris Patrick , NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
Although weight gain results from consuming more total calories than you burn (regardless of the time of day they are eaten), there are several factors to consider when eating at night.
Dinner has traditionally been the largest meal of the day for many people. When you consume more calories than your body needs at a given time, the excess calories will be stored as body fat for later use. Ideally, you should be spreading your daily calories over 5-6 smaller meals per day. This ensures that you receive only what you need at the time.
Also, many people instinctively reach for dessert after dinner. Desserts typically come in the form of simple carbohydrates (sugars), and these are more easily stored as body fat.
Another factor to consider is your activity level for the subsequent hours after a meal. Most people are not overly active after dinner, which can lead to excess calorie storage. Try eating your larger meals before being active (your workouts), and your smaller meals during periods of inactivity (night).Helpful? 8 people found this helpful.