Weight Management Counseling and Support Services
How late in the day is it safe to eat without having all the food turn to fat?
If eating in the evening causes weight gain, then it’s hard to explain the low incidence of obesity in European countries where dinner is rarely eaten before eight or nine o’clock. Even though you may be less active at night, you are still burning calories because your organs continue to work even while you sleep.
What matters for weight control is how the total calories you eat all day compares to the total you burn up. Studies have shown that if these totals balance out, people who eat in the evening do not gain weight. However, when evening eating is not due to hunger, but to boredom or stress, it often leads to eating more than is needed—and that will cause weight gain.
For many people, evening eating also means high-calorie “junk food,” rather than fruit or other foods low in calories and high in nutrients. These situations pose trouble at any time of day when the problem is inappropriate eating behavior, not the time at which it occurs.
Source: “Nutrition Wise” by Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN, American Institute for Cancer Research, www.aicr.org. Reprinted by permission.