Is it wrong to eat late at night?

By , on August 7, 2013


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Are you one of those weight watchers who go by the rule: Do not eat after 8 p.m. or else you’ll gain weight!

Well, Keri Gans, R.D.N., a columnist for SHAPE.com has an answer for you: “Eating late at night doesn’t cause you to gain weight, but eating too much late at night will.”

She adds that our body needs to consume 1,800 calories everyday to achieve a healthy body weight. Thus, eating more than the required calories will lead to weight gain. She cleared, however that weight gain is not in any way connected to the time of day you consume your food.

She explains: “The problem is the longer it gets until dinnertime, the hungrier you get, and for most people the chances they will overeat increases.”

Gans referred to it as the “domino effect.” She said, “So what ends up happening is excess calories are consumed. You’ve waited so long to eat that by the time you do, you can’t stop.”

Still hungry after dinner

Are you sure you are still hungry after dinner? Gans advised that you make sure if you are really hungry that you ABSOLUTELY need to eat again.

Thus, she uses the acronym HALT. Ask yourself, “Am I hungry? Am I angry? Am I lonely? Or Am I tired?”

She explained that most often, we mistakenly think that we’re hungry because we are angry, lonely or tired. Adding that these emotions push us more to crave for something pleasant, and in most cases, eating is our number one option.

If you cannot really stay away from your cravings late at night, Gans suggests that you consume a snack that only contains 100 calories or less.

Suggested snacks include: a piece of fruit or a cup of berries, three cups of air-popped popcorn, a sugar-free Popsicle, a single serving of low-fat pudding, a glass of nonfat milk, raw veggies, or a six-ounce container of nonfat fruit-flavored yogurt.

Research shows that when people eat late at night, they tend to eat unhealthy food in large portions. Thus, it is suggested by nutritionists to eat dinner earlier so you can rest early and avoid eating in excess.