If you’re like most people, you’ve probably wondered if your late night dinner after a long day of work is totally sabotaging your weight loss efforts. And you’re probably wondering this because you’ve heard countless “nutrition gurus” online tell you that if you eat past some arbitrary time, you’re going to gain weight *poof* just like that overnight. But what happens if you cannot realistically eat any earlier because of your busy schedule?! Should you be worried about eating late at night?
I have some good news that may surprise you if you’re someone that needs to eat late at night from time to time:
that “rule” about late night eating is complete crap and isn’t even a rule at all!
So here’s the deal with all this eating late at night talk.
While I’m not entirely sure where the accusation came from that eating past a certain time will cause weight gain, we do know that for some, eating later at night can cause heartburn or result in less restful/restorative sleep. And even then, this would most likely come from eating RIGHT BEFORE bed. But other than that, what time you choose to eat your dinner really doesn’t matter. Like, AT ALL.
When it comes to weight loss that lasts, imposing arbitrary rules for yourself and calling it “discipline” isn’t the answer.
To recap here:
- if your goal is weight loss that lasts, your total calorie intake and having sustainable habits is what matters most. Therefore, you should NOT be worried about eating late at night!
- Eating right before bed CAN cause heartburn or potentially disrupt sleep. Keep that in mind when choosing your meals if you need to be eating late at night.
- If you find yourself simply just “snacky-y” when you’re eating late at night, ask yourself if that could be due to stress or under-eating during the day!
If you have a super busy schedule and need quick, balanced meal ideas for eating late at night after a long day, check out our free weeknight dinner guide download here!