Last week after having a late dinner following my travels to NYC for another seminar tour, I was reminded of a nutrition myth that tends to create some undue anxiety for many striving to be healthier. I’ll dispel that quickly with some research. Also, I’ll briefly share some success secrets from someone who has “been there and done that”.
Never eat after 7pm?
Many people adhere to the strict “rule” – eating nothing after 7pm. It is often mentioned by experts as a key to losing weight.
The reasoning goes something like this – when you eat at night, your body is in shut down mode, so all the nutrients you eat get stored instead of burned off. On the surface, this makes perfect sense. The implications are strong – especially for those who are super busy. By the time we get home from work (often later that 7pm), feed the kids and put them to bed, make our own meals, and sit down to unwind and eat, it is almost always way after 7pm. On nights when I work out after work, my dinner might be at 9:30 or even 10. I’m like many of you who are in the same boat.
So are we doomed to pack on the pounds? Let’s check out the research:
Cameron, Obesity Research 2008.
Researchers had subjects consume 65% of their calories after 8pm and compared the effects to a group eating the calories in even proportions throughout the day. Both groups ate the same amount of calories. There was no difference between groups in weight gained.
So no need to worry about having dinner late. God knows we can’t all have the perfect 6pm dinner schedule and there’s no reason to fret about it. Just be aware that many overeat in front of the TV. So the issue is still poor food choices and too many calories, not necessarily the time.
If you need help with making better food choices or anything regarding nutrition and fat loss, check out our Body Balance Challenge, an 8 week nutrition program that has helped dozens of people accomplish their health and fat loss goals!