Have you ever heard that you shouldn’t eat after 7 PM? Or maybe 8 PM? Or how about 6 PM? Or 5 PM? Or 9 PM? Or any other specific time at night? No?
Then maybe you just heard that you shouldn’t eat late at night in general? That doing so is somehow bad for weight loss or that it will cause weight gain or that everything you eat after a certain time will turn straight into fat?
If you have ever heard anything like this (and I’m sure you have), you’re probably wondering if it’s true. Well, here comes the answer.
You should stop eating at exactly 7:43 PM UTC. Eating even 1 second after that will cause everything you eat to turn right into fat and completely ruin your diet and weight loss goals. You’ll lose your job. Your car won’t start. Your girlfriend/boyfriend or wife/husband will leave you. Your world will fall apart entirely and your life will be ruined forever.
This whole “don’t eat late at night” or “don’t eat after a certain specific time” is nothing but a myth based on nothing but assumptions.
The real truth is, your body has no idea what time it is. Your body doesn’t care what time it is. Hell, your body doesn’t even know the concept of time exists in the first place. Therefore, your body couldn’t care less what time of the day you are eating.
There is no magical switch inside of you that flips on at exactly 7 at night and makes your body think “Ok, everything we eat from this point on is turning into fat!!!” It doesn’t work like that at all. In reality, eating 500 calories at 10:00 PM is exactly the same as eating 500 calories at 10:00 AM. Why?
Because what it comes down to is your daily total calorie intake. See, there is a certain number of calories that each person needs to eat each day in order for their weight to do exactly what they want it to do (lose it, gain it, maintain it, whatever). And then, it’s just a matter of eating that amount of calories each day. That’s it. That’s all. The time of day (or night) that you do any of this eating doesn’t matter at all. Not one teeny-tiny bit.
So, if you figure out that you need to eat 2000 calories per day in order to lose weight (just an example), it makes no difference whatsoever if you eat all 2000 before 7 PM or if you eat most of those calories after 7 PM. Yea, you could eat all 2000 calories in one giant meal at midnight and it wouldn’t change a thing.
All that matters is that you ate the total number of calories that you’re supposed to be eating each day. As long as you did that, your weight will do exactly what you wanted it to do no matter what time you ate any of that food.
It’s All About Doing What’s Best For You
I personally eat dinner around 8:00 every night, and then have my last meal of the day at 10:30. Yes, 10:30 PM. I’m usually in bed about an hour after that. And yes, I’ve been eating like this for years with no problems of any kind. Why? Because the time of day I eat doesn’t matter at all.
However, for some people, late at night is the time when they end up doing most of their excess snacking. What I mean is, as long as you keep that snacking within the daily calorie intake range you are supposed to be in for you goal, you’re perfectly fine.
But when eating at this time causes you to eat MORE THAN YOU SHOULD, then you have a problem.
If this describes you, then you may still be better off not eating too late at night. Not because there’s something bad about consuming calories after a certain magical time like 7 PM… but because you are personally prone to overeating at this time of the day.
See… eating late isn’t a problem. Overeating is. And if eating late causes you to overeat… then you should probably avoid eating after a certain time. However, if you don’t have any problems like this and end up only eating as many calories as you were supposed to for the day, then feel free to eat whenever you want.
Whether it’s 7 AM or 7 PM, morning or night, early or late… it doesn’t matter. It’s all a big silly myth. As long as you eat the right total number of calories each day, you’ll be just fine. And this isn’t just my opinion either, this is a scientifically proven fact.