“When should I stop eating at night?”… a question I get often as a dietitian! So, let me share a little secret with you… WHAT you eat is more important than WHEN you eat! 200 calories at 8 am is still 200 calories at 8 pm. So, will eating late at night make you gain weight? No.
However, there are a few important things to note!! MOST people that indulge in late-night snack attacks (aka the food you scarf down while binge-watching your favorite show) are more likely to go for CONVENIENCE, easy & calorie-dense foods like chips, cookies, ice cream, pop, pretzels, & other packaged favorites because these foods are PRE-MADE & people are tired.
And, MOST people aren’t thinking about building a healthy plate with lean protein, colorful fruits & vegetables, and whole grains when we sit down to snack in front of the TV or with friends at 11 pm.
Therefore, eating late MAY lead to weight gain only if you eat a surplus of calories & calorie-dense foods… tying back to the WHAT being more important than the WHEN!! If you eat more than you burn, it will lead to weight gain no matter what time of day you are over-consuming food!
So, WHEN should you stop eating at night? It depends.
If you are FULL & satisfied from dinner, don’t force a snack “just because”… instead opt to enjoy a hot tea (if you want one) or just sip on water!
However, if you had a busy day & didn’t have time to eat dinner & it is now 9 pm… it is OKAY to still eat your dinner. Focus more on nutrient-dense foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein & low-fat dairy though! Don’t be afraid to eat just because it is a certain time on the clock… if your body is truly hungry, you need to fuel it!
My best tip? Practice mindfulness while eating ALWAYS, especially in the evenings & in front of the TV. When you can properly listen to your hunger cues, you’ll always be able to BEST decide when you need to eat & what foods your body craves!
Are you ready to lose weight & keep it off for good without worrying about silly food rules like “don’t eat after 7 pm”? Hit REPLY to let me know what your current goals are! Looking forward to hearing from YOU!