Eating before bedtime, does it make you gain weight?

Nutrition Blog

June 29, 2022
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The rumors, myths, and theories about weight gain when eating before bed are out. These thoughts have caused many of us to wonder, is this true? Do I need my last meal to be two hours before bed?

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Where did this idea come from? This idea came from animal studies that suggested going against your circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle that your body must decide when to wake, eat, and sleep, makes you gain weight. Although these studies are supported in animals, that is not the case in human studies. Overall, the studies show that if the total amount of calories eaten is within your daily need, then weight gain does not happen.

 

What are the facts? The simple answer is no! In all honesty, it is not about when but what you are eating. There are no supporting facts to this idea that eating late at night will increase your weight. The time of day does not affect weight gain; the number of calories does. If you’re eating more calories than your body needs for the day, you will gain weight.

 

One of the many ideas thrown out there, is that, those that eat late at night will make poor food choices. This can be true in some cases, because of fewer healthy options available. If you are conscious of the foods you are planning throughout your day and choose nutrient-dense food options when you are hungry, then the time of day will not affect your weight.

 

Overall, physiologically, calories do not count more at night than during the day. You will not gain weight just because you are eating later if you eat the number of calories appropriate for your activity that day. Remember, it’s now when you eat; it’s what you eat.