Does Eating At Night Make You Fat?

Does Eating At Night Make You Fat?

nightfood

This is a very common question and it pertains to when the optimal feeding window should be.

Short Answer: No.

Long Answer: No, whoever says so is an idiot!

This myth was generated because during the night, you sleep. And during sleep, you burn the least amount of calories. However, whether you eat right before bed or whether you eat early in the morning, the simple fact is the only thing that matters is the basic equation of energy expenditure.

Weight Change = Amount of Food Consumed – Amount of Energy Burned

If you eat more than you burn, you’ll gain weight. If you eat less than you burn, you’ll lose weight.

Many factors will affect your energy burn such as:

  • Thermic Effect of Food (Meal Composition, Meal Size, Meal Frequency)
  • Amount of Physical Exercise  (Intensity, Frequency, Duration)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (Genetics)

But an interesting correlation to note is that people who tend to eat at night will most likely eat junk food. Go figure, nothing is open except 24 hour fast food restaurants! These are incredibly calorie dense and fattening.

chinese

And here are a bunch of references and studies that have been conducted if you would like furthering reading.

References:

  • Eating at night myth exploded. BBC News website. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3263249.stm . Published November 2003. Accessed November 6, 2008.
  • Eating at night = weight gain: Myth or fact? Columbia University, Go Ask Alice website. Available at: http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/2225.html . Updated June 2007. Accessed November 6, 2008.
  • OHSU scientists dispel late-night eating/weight gain myth. Oregon Health and Science University website. Available at: http://www.ohsu.edu/ohsuedu/newspub/releases/020106myth.cfm . Published February 2006. Accessed November 6, 2008.
  • Scientists dispel late-night eating/weight gain myth. ScienceDaily website. Available at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060202080832.htm . Published February 2006. Accessed November 6, 2008.
  • Weight-loss nutrition myths. Weight-Control Information Network website. Available at: http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/myths.htm . Accessed November 6, 2008.
  • Wyatt HR, Grunwald GK, Mosca CL, Klem ML, Wing RR, Hill JO. Long-term weight loss and breakfast in subjects in the national weight control registry. Obesity Research . 2002;10:78-82.
  • – See more at: http://www.bidmc.org/YourHealth/Therapeutic-Centers/Weight-Management.aspx?ChunkID=156995#sthash.udm1qRxG.dpuf
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