Honestly, it really does not matter what time of day you eat. Sure, you’re going to burn less calories while you’re sleeping, but over the course of that entire 24 hour period, you’re burning the same amount of calories based on your BMR. You could still lose weight if you ate your meals at random times everyday.
There are some good reasons though, to set a time where the kitchen is closed. Any time I’ve stuck by a rule of not eating 2 hours before bedtime, or after 8pm, or whatever you decide on, chances are you are going to eat less. Different times/situations trigger different responses for everyone. Some people can’t handle the break room at work at 3pm because if there’s donuts, they’ll cave. Others, like myself, run into the trouble zone when it’s after dinner, you’re not really hungry, but eating and not moving, and mindlessly watching TV while doing so sounds incredible. I always want to snack at night. It’s been SUCH a long day, I deserve this, I got so much done today, oh man, no one has to know, my roommate is out at the gym, don’t feel guilty, eat those chips.
Don’t do it! There are ways to avoid late night snacking.
While snacking at night throws away all that hard work and healthy eating you did during the day, it also sets you up for an even harder time the next day. Here’s why:
If you overeat at night, you’re going to stretch out your stomach. Know that feeling after a party or a big BBQ? You wake up the next day and you’re not really hungry but your stomach says you are. It’s all stretched out from all that food you ate last night. It’s demanding that you fill it up. So you have your regular breakfast, but it doesn’t seem to do the trick. All day you’re eating your regular portions but you’re still hungry. What gives!
When you begin to eat less, your stomach shrinks. Those first three days like I’ve talked about, are always hard, right? It’s because you’re getting used to functioning on less fuel. But you can do it! When you do have a cheat day or decide to eat something not as healthy, keep the portion sizes to what you’ve become accustomed to with all your healthy progress. If you go out on a Friday and decide to splurge on a burger, cut it in half, split it with a friend and STOP eating when you are full or just before. Using these tricks can help you stay on track as you move forward.