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Should I not eat after a certain time of night?


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I was told that you shouldn't eat after 6pm.  Is this true?  Should I get all my allowed calories in before then?   I have craivings attacks at night.  Is it ok to only eat like fruit and veges after 6pm to help with cravings?  Has anyone heard anything about this?

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Eating after a certain time is given a bad rap mainly because people who eat late tend to overeat; meaning, you will eat a 500 calorie meal when you only have 100 calories left in your "calorie bank" for the day.

In theory, your body is less alert, and therefore less active after a certain time set by your individual circadian rythm. It is for this reason that certain people "naturally" cannot wake up early, regardless of when they go to bed. It is also for this reason that some people suggest you NOT eat after a certain time.

The best way to figure things out for you is to see if anything happens (ie: weight gain / smaller weight loss) if you eat something later at night versus not. I personally try not to eat for at LEAST 90 minutes prior to bed, to ensure that I wake up in the morning with an appetite for breakfast.

Also-- fruits/veggies are filling and (generally) low-cal for the satiety they bring with them. You can enjoy something like a medium-sized banana or apple 20 to 30 minutes prior to bed without fear.

Best advice? See how your body reacts to eating later at night. I suggest you NOT go to bed (overly) hungry, otherwise you will eventually get sick of your eating habits and binge.

Eat breakfast like a king.
Eat lunch like a prince.
Eat dinner like a popper (beggar).

#2  
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Wow mzakariya I like that saying:

Eat breakfast like a king.
Eat lunch like a prince.
Eat dinner like a popper (beggar).

I am never hungry for breakfast most likely because I eat late at night.  I am going to try eating earlier in the evening and see if I am hungry in the morning.  I usually have to force myself to eat something.  I am never hungry until around 11am or sometimes later.  Then I find myself with a snack attack around 9-10pm so I try to go to bed but can't always sleep.  Plus I have 5 children and I like to take my late nights to myself watching CSI.  That's when I snack.  I was doing weight watchers and having trouble staying within my points.  I have hit a bit of a plateau and am looking to break through that.

#3  
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I have also heard the no eating after a certain time because your body is less likely to burn calories as quickly.  But!!  6pm seems awfully early (though I rarely get home from work/gym before 7:30 or 8).  Maybe setting a later time will make you less hungry before you go to bed?  I mean, eating your last meal at 6pm and then breakfast the next morning is a loooong time to wait

#4  
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One of my uncles and a couple of my aunts did this, and they lost like 25-30 pounds in 2-3 months. They did not eat after 6 pm, they only drank water. What they did is eat whatever they wanted, until that time. So to answer your question, I think you should have all your alloted calories before 6pm. If you have night cravings, I would just have snacks that are low in carbs/sugar. I would probably do like veggies, instead of fruits. I am actually trying this now, its been almost a week. I just keep a lot of snakcks with me to have before 6pm, like hummus crackers. I try to eat a snack every 3 hours, even though Im not hungry (this keeps your metabolism up). After 6pm I have tea, and if I get cravings I have like celery, sometimes unsalted pumpkin seeds or lettuce. I just tell my self when I get hungry or get cravings, its time to refill my tea :D. What I find to work also, and get my mind off food, I just go rollarblading (great time killer). Then I come back have more tea, and go to bed after.  Good luck.

Original Post by amilojev:

I have also heard the no eating after a certain time because your body is less likely to burn calories as quickly. But!! 6pm seems awfully early (though I rarely get home from work/gym before 7:30 or 8). Maybe setting a later time will make you less hungry before you go to bed? I mean, eating your last meal at 6pm and then breakfast the next morning is a loooong time to wait

Someone in another thread pointed out that working out ups your metabolism for a few hours afterwards so I'm sure you're fine eating later! I don't like to go to bed feeling like I'm about to BURST from being so full, but I can't sleep empty. Plus, I always have to have something after working out.

HI I STARTED LOSING WEIGHT LAST YEAR AND I DID NOT EAT AFTER 6:00 AND I REALLY DID LOSE THE WEIGHT I WENT FROM A SIZE 22 TO A 14 IN ABOUT 4 MONTH RIGHT NOW I HAVE GAIN THE WEIGHT BACK ON BECAUSE I STOP WALKING AND I EAT LATE AT NITE, BUT THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION IS THAT IT REALLY DOES WORK YOU JUST HAVE TO PUT YOUR MIND TO IT.Wink

Original Post by amerson49:

HI I STARTED LOSING WEIGHT LAST YEAR AND I DID NOT EAT AFTER 6:00 AND I REALLY DID LOSE THE WEIGHT I WENT FROM A SIZE 22 TO A 14 IN ABOUT 4 MONTH RIGHT NOW I HAVE GAIN THE WEIGHT BACK ON BECAUSE I STOP WALKING AND I EAT LATE AT NITE, BUT THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION IS THAT IT REALLY DOES WORK YOU JUST HAVE TO PUT YOUR MIND TO IT.Wink

 Does it depend on what you eat after 6? Or should you just not eat at all? Because I do eat carrots or fruit just before I go to bed, cuz I get hungry Smile

Original Post by kyankik:

One of my uncles and a couple of my aunts did this, and they lost like 25-30 pounds in 2-3 months. They did not eat after 6 pm, they only drank water.

What actually happened is that they cut their calories enough by not overeating at the end of the day which enabled them to lose 25-30lbs in a couple of months.

Calories do not have a timer or an expiration stamp.  6pm for me is 4pm in California.  Does that mean they have to stop at 4pm?  If I go on a flight, does my calorie timer get jet lag?  How long does it take to adjust?

With a goal of losing weight, eating late at night should be avoided if

1)it causes you eat more calories than you burn

2)it interferes with your ability to get restful sleep

 

 

Original Post by kyankik:

One of my uncles and a couple of my aunts did this, and they lost like 25-30 pounds in 2-3 months. They did not eat after 6 pm, they only drank water.

What actually happened is that they cut their calories enough by not overeating at the end of the day which enabled them to lose 25-30lbs in a couple of months.

Calories do not have a timer or an expiration stamp.  6pm for me is 4pm in California.  Does that mean they have to stop at 4pm?  If I go on a flight, does my calorie timer get jet lag?  How long does it take to adjust?

With a goal of losing weight, eating late at night should be avoided if

1)it causes you eat more calories than you burn

2)it interferes with your ability to get restful sleep

 

 

Original Post by amerson49:

HI I STARTED LOSING WEIGHT LAST YEAR AND I DID NOT EAT AFTER 6:00 AND I REALLY DID LOSE THE WEIGHT I WENT FROM A SIZE 22 TO A 14 IN ABOUT 4 MONTH RIGHT NOW I HAVE GAIN THE WEIGHT BACK ON BECAUSE I STOP WALKING AND I EAT LATE AT NITE, BUT THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION IS THAT IT REALLY DOES WORK YOU JUST HAVE TO PUT YOUR MIND TO IT.Wink

 why are you yelling?

Original Post by chubbyarms:

Wow mzakariya I like that saying:

Eat breakfast like a king.
Eat lunch like a prince.
Eat dinner like a popper (beggar).

I am never hungry for breakfast most likely because I eat late at night.  I am going to try eating earlier in the evening and see if I am hungry in the morning.  I usually have to force myself to eat something.  I am never hungry until around 11am or sometimes later.  Then I find myself with a snack attack around 9-10pm so I try to go to bed but can't always sleep.  Plus I have 5 children and I like to take my late nights to myself watching CSI.  That's when I snack.  I was doing weight watchers and having trouble staying within my points.  I have hit a bit of a plateau and am looking to break through that.

 

The saying is a very good one, but its "pauper, not popper."

People crave fat, salt, sugar, and convenience at night. They don't crave oatmeal, bananas, or scrambled eggs. That is another reason that successful weight management most often goes with people who eat a big breakfast.

For me, lack of TV means that I play guitar or read at night and tend to fall asleep early. I like getting up a little hungry and making a really good breakfast. It starts the day off well.

 

 

Original Post by oldguysrule:

People crave fat, salt, sugar, and convenience at night. They don't crave oatmeal, bananas, or scrambled eggs. That is another reason that successful weight management most often goes with people who eat a big breakfast.

That's incorrect.  For one, everyone has different cravings.  I had a bowl of cereal with a banana sliced into it for my evening snack last night.  Some days I have the same for breakfast, other times I make a spicy wrap. 

The type of food people crave at breakfast doesn't lead to successful weightloss.  Breakfast helps in weightloss by preventing hunger from being out of control which would lead to eating too much.

Often I get home from the gym 9:30, eat an egg sandwich/oatmeal & pb/veggies & hummus, and am in bed, happily sleeping by 10:15...and I sleep fine...and I wake up hungry for breakfast...and a lose weight when I maintain a deficit and do this. 

My eating before bed has nothing to do with cravings, it has to do with me needing more food.

Just sayin'

Yea, I stop eating around 6:30-7pm. Then I go to the gym around 8pm. When I come home I may eat some fruit...that's ok, right?

Original Post by wilj05:

Yea, I stop eating around 6:30-7pm. Then I go to the gym around 8pm. When I come home I may eat some fruit...that's ok, right?

No. Why are you asking your body to run on no calories for such a large chunk of your day, including a workout? It does not matter what time you eat, it matters how much you eat. Not eating in the evening only works if you eat the appropriate number of calories early in the day. If I stopped eating at 6 or 7, I would never get close to getting enough calories.

If evening snacking is a problem, then change your 'snack' foods.

I eat half my daily calories after 7pm, and I've lost 40lbs, there's no magical times to eat. There's no magical weight loss secret. Eat fewer calories than you burn (at any time of day) and you lose weight. Eat more than you burn, and you gain weight.

Original Post by oldguysrule:

Original Post by chubbyarms:

Wow mzakariya I like that saying:

Eat breakfast like a king.
Eat lunch like a prince.
Eat dinner like a popper (beggar).

I am never hungry for breakfast most likely because I eat late at night.  I am going to try eating earlier in the evening and see if I am hungry in the morning.  I usually have to force myself to eat something.  I am never hungry until around 11am or sometimes later.  Then I find myself with a snack attack around 9-10pm so I try to go to bed but can't always sleep.  Plus I have 5 children and I like to take my late nights to myself watching CSI.  That's when I snack.  I was doing weight watchers and having trouble staying within my points.  I have hit a bit of a plateau and am looking to break through that.

 

The saying is a very good one, but its "pauper, not popper."

People crave fat, salt, sugar, and convenience at night. They don't crave oatmeal, bananas, or scrambled eggs. That is another reason that successful weight management most often goes with people who eat a big breakfast.

For me, lack of TV means that I play guitar or read at night and tend to fall asleep early. I like getting up a little hungry and making a really good breakfast. It starts the day off well.

 

 

I crave bananas, apples, popcorn (air popped with no butter), sometimes pb, cereal, grits, eggs..I think you get it. Depending on the day my craving could be completely healthy or complete junk.

Even if I eat at 3 a.m, I still get very hungry in the morning. Naturally I'm sure it's different for everyone. :)

Funny you bring this up. :-) Before I found this wonderful website that taught me how to control my calories, the first thing I did when I realized I had hit 180 pounds was not eat after 6:00. After 2 weeks of doing this (before cutting calories) i went from 180 to 172. But guess what, the nights were HORRIBLE!!! My stomach would hurt all night and I was not getting good sleep. And in the morning, I was literally rabid-hungry and in a terrible mood, I couldn't even think straight. Anyways, I brought my dinner down to 7:00, sometimes 7:30. I usually go to bed around 10:00, but if it's a late weekend night with friends and family, then I'll have some fruit or a lowfat yogurt before going to bed. I've still gone from 180 to 150 in 12 weeks.

I just think it depends on what is being eaten after 6pm. Like someone else mentioned, most late night snackers are eating something filled with sugar, fat or calories. alot of health sources say not to eat anything within 3 hours of going to sleep. I work 2 jobs and don't get home until after 1 in the morning.. if I stopped eating after 6pm i would literally be starving.

Original Post by 67alecto:

Original Post by kyankik:

One of my uncles and a couple of my aunts did this, and they lost like 25-30 pounds in 2-3 months. They did not eat after 6 pm, they only drank water.

What actually happened is that they cut their calories enough by not overeating at the end of the day which enabled them to lose 25-30lbs in a couple of months.

Calories do not have a timer or an expiration stamp.  6pm for me is 4pm in California.  Does that mean they have to stop at 4pm?  If I go on a flight, does my calorie timer get jet lag?  How long does it take to adjust?

With a goal of losing weight, eating late at night should be avoided if

1)it causes you eat more calories than you burn

2)it interferes with your ability to get restful sleep

 

 

I agree with every thing 67alecto said. Not only this qustion has been asked many times before here (in forums, Ask Mary section etc.), I can attest that from my personal experience as well.

Time does not matter. I lost 63 pounds in about 8-10 months period with calories control and exercise. I did not care even for a minute about what time to eat or not. Hey, I even eat ate, for continuous periods of days, as late as 9pm.

It is simply about how many calories you burn and how many you eat. You can and should balance this equation by eating right and in right amounts and exercising.

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