There's this myth that eating at night makes you gain weight.
First off, it's not true.
Where do these ideas come from? There are so many of them in the health/fitness industry.
This particular idea that eating at night will make you fat comes from a study about breakfast, and how people who skipped breakfast had a higher incidence of obesity.
Naturally, this means you will gain weight if you eat at night, correct?
Be Careful With "Studies"
I'm sure you've read headlines that make any number of health claims, ranging from the benefits of coffee/dangers of coffee, superfoods, eggs are good for you/bad for you, two meals a day helps with weight loss/8 meals a day helps with weight loss.. etc..
There are new studies all the time. Who or what should you believe?
If you want to dig a little deeper, read between the lines of each study.
You can learn who conducted the study, (was it a big supplement company?) how many people were involved?
How long did it last? What were the variables?
If it was a study on diet how were the important metrics documented? Were participants supposed to write down what they ate?
How many times have you remembered every single food you ate all week?
Before we make any determinations, we have to read beyond the headlines.
Conduct Your Own Study
When it comes to dietary habits it's important to know thyself.
Will eating at night make you gain weight?
It might. If you eat more calories in a day than your body requires to maintain its current weight.
That last meal might be the 500 calories that will put you into a caloric surplus. (weight gain)
You can't just blame the late-night meal though. Maybe you had a huge lunch or dinner.
There have been multiple studies that show eating late (after 7 p.m.) helped people lose weight.
What about you?
Can I Eat at Night and Not Gain Weight?
Like many questions in health/fitness, the answer is- It Depends.
Does one snack lead to a night of binge eating in front of the tv?
Do you know the number of calories per day you need to eat to lose weight? Will a late-night meal put you over that number?
Maybe you don't eat much during the day but after a few drinks at the bar you end up eating a big meal that puts your total calories into a surplus. (weight gain)
Only YOU can answer these questions.
If eating at night will help you stay on track, then find a way to make it work.
There's no need to force yourself to eat according to anyone else's plan. If you know that eating at night is a problem for you then maybe you are someone who needs a good breakfast and more food earlier in the day to avoid cravings later at night.
If you are unsure what the best nutrition approach for your lifestyle is, CONTACT ME HERE.