What Nighttime Snack Should You Have Tonight?

Many people are concerned about gaining weight if they eat after a certain time.

One popular recommendation is to avoid eating after 8 p.m., but this advice is misleading.

In fact, when it comes to eating, what you eat is much more important than what you eat.

When it comes to late-night eating and weight gain, this article distinguishes reality from fiction.

Your Circadian Rhythm and Eating
Animal studies indicate that the body can use consumed calories differently after a certain time of day, leading to the belief that eating late at night helps you gain weight.

Some scientists believe that eating late at night disrupts the circadian rhythm, which is a 24-hour cycle that tells your body when to sleep, eat, and wake up (1).

Nighttime is for sleeping, not feeding, according to your circadian rhythm.

This hypothesis is supported by a number of animal studies. Even if they consume the same amount of food, mice who eat against their circadian rhythm gain substantially more weight than mice who only eat during waking hours.

However, not all human studies back up this theory.

In reality, human studies show that it’s not so much what you eat as it is how much you eat that counts.

A study of over 1600 children, for example, found no correlation between eating dinner after 8 p.m. and being overweight. Late eaters did not seem to consume more total calories in this sample.

Researchers observed the dietary habits of 52 adults and discovered that those who ate after 8 p.m. consumed more total calories than those who ate earlier. Late eaters can gain weight over time as a result of the extra calories they consume.

Overall, weight gain does not seem to be caused solely by eating late at night when your overall calorie consumption is within your normal needs.

SUMMARY Those who eat late tend to eat more.
One reason for the connection between late-night eating and weight gain is that late-night eaters appear to consume more calories overall.

Regardless of when you eat more calories than you need, you can gain weight.

Researchers studied the relationship between meal timing and total calorie intake in 59 individuals, for example. People who ate their last meal closer to bedtime consumed more calories overall than those who ate their last meal earlier.

Another research discovered that people who ate between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. consumed 500 calories more every day than those who ate during the day. The average nighttime eater gained 10 pounds over time (4.5 kilograms)

Thus, eating late at night can result in weight gain only if you consume an excessive amount of calories.

“Start the Quiz”

  • Question of

    Which food-related adjective better describes your personality?

    • Salty
    • Sweet
    • Raw
    • Bittersweet
  • Question of

    What would you say about your current eating habits?

    • Healthy
    • Unhealthy
    • Nutritious
    • Regular
  • Question of

    Until you go to bed, what do you do?

    • AWatch TV
    • AShower
    • Take out your cell.
    • ARead
  • Question of

    On a typical night, what time do you go to bed?

    • Earlier than 9 p.m.
    • 9-10 PM
    • 10-11 PM
    • At least 11 p.m.
  • Question of

    Which season is your favourite when it comes to food?

    • Spring
    • Summer
    • Fall
    • Winter
  • Question of

    What is the most popular beverage you consume?

    • Coffee
    • Water
    • Soda
    • Milk
  • Question of

    What kind of sweet treat would you get from a bakery?

    • Butter cookies
    • Croissant
    • Blueberry muffin
    • a cherry pie slice
  • Question of

    What is your favourite pasta dish?

    • Fettuccine alfredo
    • Spaghetti bolognese
    • Penne pesto
    • Lasagna
  • Question of

    What’s your go-to condiment?

    • Ketchup
    • Mustard
    • Ranch
    • Barbecue sauce
  • Question of

    Where do you want to eat the most?

    • AAt a restaurant
    • AAt home
    • In the dining hall
    • AOutside

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