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Eating at night, causes weight gain or not?

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Old 06-08-2011, 09:15 AM   #1
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Default Eating at night, causes weight gain or not?

So I've just sat here and read two different "scientific" articles within 5 minutes stating two different things. Some say that eating at night doesn't allow your body the time to burn the calories you consume and will lead to weight gain, as your metabolism slows when asleep....the other article says that tests they have run show no increase when the food is eaten at night vs eaten at a normal time during the day, calories are calories reguardless of the time eaten.

I also just wanted to note that I'm not talking about overeating or binging before bed, or eating excess calories after dinner, moreso eating a normal dinner/meal, but eating it later in the evening. This applies for me because I get off work at 5pm and my SO gets off work at 7pm and sometimes has an hour drive home. So if I want to eat dinner with him, it's occasionally at like 8-9pm at night! Usually I go to bed anywhere from 11-12am at night. Even if it's a "healthy" meal, do I need to worry about this affecting my weight loss attempts? It's definately not an every night thing, but maybe twice per week.

What is the general opinion on this here on 3FC?
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:25 AM   #2
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I'd say that if you have lost 27 pounds by eating later in the evening than the article that says it doesn't effect you is your answer!
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:28 AM   #3
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I eat from 6:30a.m. til right before I go to bed and I've never had a problem with weight loss stalls. I think it's all about total calories than what time you eat them.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:30 AM   #4
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Where is JohnP??? He's armed and ready to answer this question.

I'll preempt him by saying a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Research (rigorous, peer-reviewed, double-blind research) indicates it doesn't matter what time of day you eat. It's not really an "opinion," but a pretty well known dietary myth that has been clearly disproved. I'm trying to link to studies but the NIH website is down.

Some studies do demonstrate a link between late-night eating and weight gain, but such reports indicate correlation, not causation. A lot of people who snack late at night often overeat. The weight gain is due to the quantity consumed, not the time it is consumed.

EDIT: The website isn't working for me right now, but try this link to see if it works for you: http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/myths.htm

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Old 06-08-2011, 09:38 AM   #5
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[quote=indiblue;3882996]Where is JohnP??? He's armed and ready to answer this question.

I'll preempt him by saying a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Research (rigorous, peer-reviewed, double-blind research) indicates it doesn't matter what time of day you eat. It's not really an "opinion," but a pretty well known dietary myth that has been clearly disproved. I'm trying to link to studies but the NIH website is down.QUOTE]

LOL My first thought was I am sure John has already answered this question :0) I eat a late night snack nearly every evening. Eating that snack means that I eat 200 calories less earlier in the day. For me, 1400 calories is 1400 calories, no matter what time of day I eat.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiblue View Post
Where is JohnP??? He's armed and ready to answer this question.

I'll preempt him by saying a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Research (rigorous, peer-reviewed, double-blind research) indicates it doesn't matter what time of day you eat. It's not really an "opinion," but a pretty well known dietary myth that has been clearly disproved.
THIS ^ ^ ^ ^
Burn more calories than you eat & you WILL lose weight.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:36 AM   #7
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Just for the record: I remember reading a study a while back on this, but they used rats - they fed some rats normally, and others during the time they were supposed to be sleeping. IIRC the ones that fed when they were supposed to be sleeping did gain weight, plus I think their blood sugar levels were going of control. But they should do this study on humans, not rats :P So, who knows...

I just stop eating by 8:30pm and that works very well for me.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:43 AM   #8
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I eat a snack (80-100calories) every night. It helps my blood sugar stay stable and prevents me from other kinds of evening snacking. It hasn't stalled my weight loss
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:49 AM   #9
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FTR, it is my understanding that the reason they say "don't eat past "X-o'clock" is because many people seem to have trouble with over-eating at night. Maybe it has something to do with being in the "comfort zone" of over-eating while sitting in front of the TV or whatever. I know that used to be a problem for me as well. TV-viewing = eating time, even if I wasn't hungry. And I'm sure that's where most of my over-abundance of calories came from.

So it's not that "evening calories" are any different from day-time calories. It's just an "over-abundance" of them.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:50 AM   #10
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I eat at night and lose weight.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:56 AM   #11
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Since I stopped eating after dinner I have increased weight loss to almost 4 lbs a week. But thats me.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnie923 View Post
Since I stopped eating after dinner I have increased weight loss to almost 4 lbs a week. But thats me.
But are you taking in less calories overall? Stopping eating at 6 o'clock generally works because it restricts calories, you naturally eat less because you allowing yourself to eat for say a 12 hour window of the day rather than a 16-hour period.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aimeebell View Post
But are you taking in less calories overall? Stopping eating at 6 o'clock generally works because it restricts calories, you naturally eat less because you allowing yourself to eat for say a 12 hour window of the day rather than a 16-hour period.
that could be!!!
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:58 AM   #14
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I think it has more to do with what kind of foods we eat late at night. Personally, the only food I eat at night is junk or sweets (popcorn, ice cream, candy, etc.)

However, some people can get away with it. I stop eating at 9 and my fiance eats all the way up to the point he lays his head on the pillow. He usually has a tall glass of whole milk with about 6-8 cookies before he goes to sleep...sometimes he'll eat half a can of Pringles to finish everything off. He weighs less than me, is 6'4 and has a six pack and I've never seen him exercise.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:05 PM   #15
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Weight gain comes from eating more calories than you burn. Not from eating after 8 pm.
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