Woman eating late night dinner

How Late is Too Late to Eat Dinner



With our busy lifestyles, we don’t always have the time to sit down and eat dinner on time. We end up getting a late night meal to go and more often than not, it’s not the healthiest meal option to have.

But can eating late at night pack on the pounds? How late is too late to eat dinner?

How Changes in Meal Timing Influence Weight Gain

Scientists believe that changes in meal timing can influence weight gain and obesity. Just like our sleep is governed by our circadian clock, our body has its circadian clock just for eating. Disrupting this balance could affect weight and how efficiently we lose weight.

A 2013 study followed 420 individuals who were placed in a 20-week weight loss treatment. Researchers found that late eaters lost less weight and displayed a much slower weight loss rate than the ones who ate early.

Another study found that eating an early dinner around 2:00pm helped burn more fat and kept appetite levels even throughout the day.

One reason to explain why late eaters pack on more pounds compared to early eaters, could be that they tend to eat larger meals.

A study of 52 adults found that those who ate past 8:00pm consumed more calories than those who ate early. Another research conducted by Northwestern University found that people who ate dinner around 10:00pm consumed 248 more calories than those who ate their dinner earlier. It would seem that the combination of late feeding time plus increased caloric intake led to more weight gain. And opting for a high calorie breakfast rather than a high calorie dinner was a better approach.

A 2013 study followed obese and overweight women with metabolic syndrome for 12 weeks. The first group was given a high calorie breakfast and low calorie dinner (700 kcal breakfast, 500 kcal lunch, 200 kcal dinner) while the second group was given a low calorie breakfast and high calorie dinner (200 kcal breakfast, 500 kcal lunch, 700 kcal dinner). The researchers noted that the high calorie breakfast group had greater weight loss and waist circumference reduction than the high calorie dinner group. Additionally, fasting glucose, insulin, and HOMA‐IR (this marks the presence and extent of the patient’s insulin resistance) decreased significantly in the high calorie breakfast group.

How Late Should You Eat Dinner

Unfortunately, scientists haven’t figured out the exact optimal time to eat dinner but there seems to be a consensus to when you should stop eating. Many believe that you should stop eating within 3 hours before bedtime. That means that if you go to bed at 10:00pm, you need to stop eating by 7:00pm. That means no late night snacks.

Since we can’t always eat on time, a good practice is to eat a healthy snack in between that way you aren’t famished when you sit down for your late meal. Why not have a glass of Simply Slender Master Cleanse. One glass of Simply Slender has 50 calories and is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Plus, it helps to control appetite too!

Summary

Can eating late at night pack on the pounds? How late is too late to eat dinner? Here are a few ways that meal timing influences weight and weight loss:

  • Scientists believe that changes in meal timing can influence obesity. Disrupting this balance and unusual feeding times could affect weight and weight loss treatment success.
  • Research has shown that late eaters lost less weight and displayed a much slower weight loss rate than the ones who ate early.
  • Late eaters also eat more calories than early eaters. They eat on average, 248 calories more than early eaters.
  • Eating as early as 2:00pm may help burn more fat and keep appetite even throughout the day.
  • Additionally, researchers found that high calorie breakfast eaters had greater weight loss and waist circumference reduction than high calorie dinner eaters.
  • Many believe that you should stop eating 3 hours before your bedtime.

 

References

"This is the latest you should eat at night if you want to sleep well and not gain weight" - Business Insider, July 29, 2016
 
"Timing of food intake and obesity: A novel association" - ScienceDirect, July, 2014
 
"Timing of food intake predicts weight loss effectiveness." - PubMed, April, 2013
 
"When to Eat Dinner if You Don't Want to Pack on Pounds" - November 18, 2013
 
"Here’s Why the Time You Eat Dinner Actually Matters" - The Cut, November 8, 2016