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does eating late at night affect weight loss

does eating late at night affect weight loss

Amanda Edell NASM CPT, ACSM CP | @bodybyamanda | bodybyamandanyc.com​

when it comes to weight loss, the single most important thing you need to adhere to if you want to drop some body fat is eating less calories everyday than what you are burning off.

when it comes to weight loss, the single most important thing you need to adhere to if you want to drop some body fat is eating less calories everyday than what you are burning off.

(source: https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/diet-truth-myth-eating-night-causes-weight-gain#2)

With this information, you should still be mindful of having most of your calories earlier in the day.

there are a few reasons why:

  • You’ll sleep better at night (having a large meal before bed will disrupt sleeping patterns and possibly cause indigestion which may keep you up).
  • You’ll feel better throughout the day by avoiding a crash due to lack of food.
  • You’ll maintain an even blood sugar level throughout the day so you’ll feel more energized and mentally sharper.
  • You’ll be less likely to want to snack and possibly binge later at night.

when people eat later at night, they’re usually opting for unhealthy, high calorie foods such as chips, cookies, etc. it’s extremely easy to over eat and over indulge on these processed foods.

Studies also show that people who eat and snack later at night are often times not even hungry but instead eating out of boredom, stress, anxiety, etc.

When you think about it, it makes sense. The days work (physical and mental) tends to pile up later in the day and when we get home, especially if we are hungry, it can be easy to eat dinner and continue to snack- even if we are satiated after dinner.

although eating late at night or past a certain time does not put the pounds magically on us, it definitely effects:

  • Our sleep cycle
  • The choices of food we eat (higher calorie foods)
  • The amount of food we eat

Taking all of this into consideration, it’s important to remember that there are no “bad” foods. Food is just food and if you are craving those cookies or chips, you can have them. Making sure you have them earlier in the day will allow you more time to burn those calories off and put them to good use instead of the body storing them as fat.

A good suggestion I like to tell my clients is to have your higher caloric foods pre and post workout or on the days you are more active. Your body will put those calories to good use- especially after a productive sweat session.

Your appetite and cravings for certain sweets can be managed more efficiently by having most of your meals earlier in the day. If you struggle with eating late at night, try and take note of why you are doing it. Many times, it’s an emotional reaction rather than a physical one.

There’s a lot of shame and discomfort for people around the topic of food so taking the time to recognize your individual triggers as well as coming up with a strategic plan of action for meal planning throughout the week can go a very long way in helping you stay on track working towards your fitness goals.