If you are someone who refuses to eat after 8pm, you might be happy to know that eating late is not bad for your diet. Contrary to popular thought, spreading your calories out over the course of your day is better than cutting yourself off from food at a certain time. The time of day you eat any number of calories does not affect the rate at which they are metabolized by your body.
Calories In, Calories Out
Your weight variation is determined by the simple equation, number of calories you consume minus the number of calories you burn. The time of day you consume the calories has nothing to do with the equation. If you are eating the same number of calories for dinner, it doesn't matter if you eat dinner at 5pm or at 11pm; the number of calories does not metabolize differently.
If you want to avoid eating late at night because you eat additional calories, that is something else entirely. It is "bad" to eat late if you tend to engage in mindless eating while you are watching television, for example. Additionally, if you are a busy person who likes to stop at the drive-through for dinner late at night, instead of cooking, eating late might be bad for you too. The most important thing for your diet is to stay fueled with healthy food throughout the day (and night, if you are going to be awake).
Again, it doesn't matter what time of day you eat your calories, 300 calories will metabolize as 300 calories at any given time of the day. Researchers have found that people who break up their calories to keep their blood sugar levels even have more success when dieting. The most important thing about eating is what you eat, not what time you eat.