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Eating late at night


I had a question about eating at night.  I tend to get hungry at about 9/9:30pm.  I go to bed at about 11:00pm.  I tend to get hungry at night since one I normally work out in the later part of the evening and two I get home late from my night class and I tend to feel hungry.  My concern is, I know it is not good to eat late since food does not get properly digest, and I do not want to gain weight from this.  I have tried eating a light snack like a piece of fruit, but I tend to have to eat heavier foods since with a piece of fruit I will get hungry again soon.  What food choices would you recommend that are healthy but also get me full?  And how many hours should I leave after I am done eating till the time I go to bed?

Thank you.

Hello Vanessa,

Previously, experts would unanimously advise you against eating late in the evening. Not any longer. The matter is, it can depend on what kind of food you eat not only at night and not only during one or two days but permanently. If you eat carbohydrate-rich foods, you are doomed to be hungry in the evening and we all know that hunger is the greatest diet 'sabotager'.

If you don't eat carb-rich foods, there can be a different logic in meal planning (see, for example the Banta Diet plan: http://bantadiet.com)

On the other hand, recent studies showed that eating one meal, no matter when, even in the evening, resulted in decreased calorie intake partly due to decreased hunger during the day and partly due to the fact that meal volume alone dictates the meal size you eat until satiety so several meals a day mean a greater chance to overeat than one meal a day.

Important is, however, that you don't overeat carbohydrates-dense foods during this only meal because in this case, you can squeeze more calorie in a smaller volume plus, your insulin level rises preventing fat burning, which otherwise will occur at any time of the day.

You might want to read more about meal planning:

Night Time Eating And Fat Loss Revisited

Hope it helps,

Tanya Zilberter  
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