We've all heard this statement- 'Don't eat near bed time or you will gain weight'. Another common advice is,' if you want to lose weight or maintain a lean weight, don't consume carbohydrates after 6:00p.m. The world wants you to believe that eating at night is actually bad for you and you should avoid eating anything past sunset. But what if I told you that it is perfectly okay to consume food during the night or any other time of the day without worrying about weight gain? Yes, that's absolutely true. Let me prove this to you with logic and science.Where Did This Myth Come From?
The proponents of this belief believe that when you go against the circadian rhythm of your body, you tend to gain weight. According to them, normal circadian rhythm of human body tells you to eat during the day and rest during the night. Several animal studies have indeed established the fact that when subjects in studies eat opposite to their circadian rhythms, they gain significantly more weight than subjects who eat as per the circadian rhythms. However, it is important to note that these studies were conducted on mice and not humans.Human Researches Are Mixed
A few human studies that were conducted to find out the result of eating at night showed no difference in weight. These studies indicated that it is not actually the time that's important but its how much and what you eat that matters. However, a few studies did establish that people who eat late at night tend to consume more calories than people who do not eat late at night. This may lead to weight gain with people who end up consuming more overall calories. Thus, it is not the timing that is responsible for weight gain, but it is the total number of calories that people end up consuming when they eat at night.Food Choices At Night Are Generally Not Healthier
The only problem with eating late at night is that food choices at that time aren't really healthy. Late night eating generally comprises junk foods like chips, sugar coated biscuits, colas, pizza, etc, which are loaded with extra calories. This is the reason why people who eat late end up consuming more total number of calories. Weight gain happens only when your total calorie intake exceeds your body's calorie requirements for a certain period of time. Now this habit of eating junk food at night which is calorie dense and makes you consume more number of total calories is what is responsible for people to gain weight.
© PixabayThe Solution
The Solution to eating at night and avoiding the unnecessary weight gain is actually to monitor what you eat and how much you eat. If you can control the type of food choice and its portion size, there is absolutely no problem in eating late at night. For this, fill in your kitchen and fridge with healthy and low calorie foods so that when you crave for food at night, you do not have a handy choice for binge-eating junk.
Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.