I have always recommended to patients to eat their last meal no later than 730-8pm; preferably before 8 PM. For many busy people working full time jobs and then attending to their children’s post school activities, by the time they are ready to eat dinner, the clock is well past 8 PM. There are several reasons why later night meals are contributing factors to poor weight control. These include:
- Taking in the calories at night will result in more fat storage as metabolism slows overnight.
- The choices of meals eaten later tend to be less healthy than foods/melas prepared earlier. Processed foods from the microwave or food delivery meals from pizza places or restaurants will have a higher chance of derailing weight control.
- Hunger hormones increase and satiety hormones decrease as the night progresses: Portion control will be more difficult when we eat later
- Insulin resistance rises later in the evening and this will result in blood sugars being higher after later evening meals.
Although it may be difficult to arrange your schedule to allow for the dinner meal to be consumed before 730 PM, please try your best to make this happen. Your weight control and overall health will be positively impacted by having dinner earlier. And, for you cost-conscious folks, the “early bird” specials at restaurants will save you $$$.
And…do NOT do the late night snacking thing…nothing good ever happens after midnight.
Enjoy Eric Clapton’s “After Midnight”.