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Food Myths Debunked: If You Eat after 8pm You Will Gain Weight

Jul 9, 2010

Many people watching their figures avoid eating late in the evening because they assume doing so would cause them to gain weight. But the truth is, eating at any time of the day causes the body to gain the same amount of weight. What matters is how much you eat and how many calories you burn during the day.

Calories and Weight Gain

All foods are made up of calories, which are a necessary component for your body to function normally. Think of calories as your body’s fuel. The foods you eat fuel your body to help you get through the day. If the food you eat contains more calories than your body needs, then the excess is converted into fat which your body stores to use later. For every 3500 extra calories you consume, your body produces 1 lb. of fat.

Late Night Snacking and Weight Gain

While eating after 8 p.m. won’t increase the amount of weight you’ll gain, there are still some risks to late night snacking. The issue is simple: when you’re tired, you’re more likely to overeat. To compensate for fatigue, your brain will tell you to eat more and you might grab an unhealthy, calorie-dense snack. This is why you may run into trouble when you eat late at night. It’s not because your body gains more weight, it’s because you eat the wrong foods. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips, you should grab a piece of fruit or a vegetable. The best options are healthy, high-fiber foods that will satisfy your hunger without packing lots of calories.

Eating in the Morning

While eating after 8 p.m. is perfectly fine, you should still be sure to eat throughout the day, especially in the morning. Skipping meals usually leads to overeating later in the day. If you skip meals and become extremely hungry, it’ll be difficult for you to determine when you’re full when you actually do eat. This is why eating a healthy, satisfying breakfast is particularly important, especially if you want to lose weight. Breakfast helps to jump start your brain, which will improve your mental performance and concentration. You’ll be less likely to overeat if your brain is functioning well.

Snacking and Weight Gain

Eating small meals or snacks is a great way to control hunger and lose weight. When you skip meals and eat one large dinner late in the day, you are likely to overeat. By snacking throughout the day, you’ll probably end up eating less than you would have otherwise. It might come as a surprise, but the best way to avoid overeating is to eat small portions on a frequent basis.

How much weight you gain depends solely on how many calories you take in and how many calories you burn. It doesn’t matter if you consume calories after 8 p.m. Whether you consume calories at 8 a.m. or 8 p.m., your body will react the same way.

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