LifestyleIs eating after 10 pm harmful? Find out if it's worth going to bed hungry

Is eating after 10 pm harmful? Find out if it's worth going to bed hungry

Does eating after 10 pm cause us to gain weight?
Does eating after 10 pm cause us to gain weight?
Images source: © Canva | pixelshot

6:54 AM EST, December 4, 2023

When should you eat your last meal of the day? Does eating after 10 pm (according to some sources, even after 6 pm) actually lead to faster fat accumulation? We're here to debunk the most common myths about meal timing.

No one probably doubts that successful weight loss is more complex than just avoiding sweet treats and fizzy drinks. At its core, the process involves learning to calculate the caloric deficit, understanding a BMI calculator, and grasping the basics of a healthy diet, including the function of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber.

However, when we begin to understand this not-so-simple mechanism of the human body and the process of shedding extra pounds, we quickly encounter numerous myths, particularly in this segment. One of the most popular and frequently repeated myths, especially online, is the notion of not eating after 10 pm. Let's investigate this claim.

Eating in the evening? It depends on when you go to bed.
Eating in the evening? It depends on when you go to bed.© Canva | Syda Productions

What effect does eating after 10 pm have on us?

Let's clarify whether the saying that it's not advisable to eat after 10 pm (or after 6 pm) because it leads to quick weight gain holds any truth. The truth is, this is a widely circulated but entirely false myth. The argument that "after 6 pm all food turns into fat tissue" is simply absurd. Nevertheless, this does not mean that refraining from eating after 10 pm is a bad idea.

As a general rule, the last meal should be consumed 2-3 hours before you sleep. This allows the foods from your dinner to be digested, and your digestive system can rest along with you. Thus, not eating after 6 pm makes sense if you go to bed at 8 pm. Similarly, having dinner at 10 pm should not be problematic if you are a night owl who retires after midnight.

Is eating just before sleep okay?

Most of us have faced a situation where the time from dinner to bed has unexpectedly extended, and we've felt slightly hungry just before sleeping. Should we then force ourselves to sleep with a rumbling stomach or succumb to the craving?

While it's better to avoid such situations, it turns out that a more suitable solution is to snack on something (following the rule: no fats, yes fiber) rather than going to bed hungry. A starved body may not experience truly regenerative sleep, which, paradoxically, could make your body demand a "refund" the next day, with interest! This "interest," as you might guess, tends to settle around your waist.

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