Nighttime Eating and Other Scary Stories

I hate horror movies, especially at night. There’s something about being scared right before bed that just doesn’t work for me. It interrupts my sleep, makes me toss and turn and gives me horrible dreams. I also start compulsive-terrified-and-anxious-snacking when I’m petrified.

This means: Watching Horror Movies Makes People Fat.

If this sounds ridiculous to you, you are absolutely right. But yet, there are many people out there who believe that eating at night makes you hold and gain fat. In fact, many believe that the timing of your meals actually matters. It doesn’t.

Fat mass changes come from changes in total daily energy balance. Calories in → calories out. It’s really that simple. If you eat at night and you are already in a calorie surplus, then you will gain fat. Don’t believe me? I included the research (links below). In these studies, the observers looked at weight loss changes when the timing of meals were all over the place. Each one supports the fact that calories affect body composition, not timing.

Now, just like horror movies make me snack, maybe eating at night is a trigger for you. Maybe you have a lower level of discipline by the end of the day. In that case, you may find yourself consuming more calories in the evening vs. earlier in the day when you have more willpower. Or perhaps you sleep a little better when you have an emptier stomach. Those are all personal choices, and very valid.

In summary, meal timing should not be stressful. Figure out what works for you personally and track calories throughout the day. For fat loss it’s math and calories in/ calories out.

The science behind the blog (links below).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3302369/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28765272

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3401553/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17483007

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