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Is It OK To Eat At Night if You Want To Lose Fat?

Is it okay to eat at night if you want to lose weight?  Is it okay to have a post-dinner snack?  Will it make you gain weight?  The quick answer is yes and now, but the real answer to whether it's okay to eat at nigh and still lose weight is more complex.  Read on to discover the truth.

by Ed Scow, NSCA-CPT (aka The Fit Dad) - Fitness and Nutrition Expert to the true superheroes - busy Moms and Dads! and Author of Fat Loss To Go

Eating at night is a contentious topic.

Is it okay? Should you eat past a certain time if you want to lose weight? is it okay to eat at night

People truly want to know if they should eat anything after dinner if they want to lose fat or if they should eat anything past a certain time or any other combination of this question.

 

I don't know where this idea of not eating past 6pm (or whatever time) and how it pertains to fat loss got started.   I'm sure Oprah said it at some point, so I'll blame it on her.

 

There is a little truth to not eating at night after dinner, but I think there's a bigger picture involved.

 

What is your reason for eating at night?

 

Are you really hungry or is there another reason?

 

I think the reason that you're eating at night is twofold.

 

Number 1 is that you're bored.   The day is winding to a close and you are watching some reality show because there aren't any scripted shows on thanks to the writers' strike (I miss 24) and you need something to do.   So you go to the refrigerator or cupboard and grab some comfort food to take up the time.

 

The other reason is that you want to relax at night.

 

Everybody wants to relax at night.   It's instinctual.   Your body is naturally getting ready to sleep and you need to relax or wind down in order to sleep.

 

There's actually a scientific reason behind this as well. 

 

Most snack foods are high in sugar.   Sugar releases opiates in the brain that make you feel good. 

 

When you feel good, you relax.   When you relax, you are ready to sleep, which makes your body happy.

 

But these same feel good foods make you fat, which doesn't make you happy, it makes you mad.

 

So, the question still remains is it OK to snack at night or to eat past a certain time.

 

Of course it's OK to eat at night.eating at night when on a diet

 

It's definitely OK to eat past a certain time.   The thought that there's some magical cutoff in the day that if you consume anything after this magical hour you'll be gaining lots of fat is ridiculous.

 

The problem isn't eating at night, it's what you eat at night.

 

Are you eating the high sugar, fat-laden snack foods?   Or are you eating something good for you like a piece of fruit or some fat-free dairy or some almonds.  

 

All of those foods I just mentioned will help you relax and get ready for sleep, by the way and are good if you want to lose fat.

 

That's the key to eating at night.   Eat healthy snacks.   And remember, healthy doesn't have to be boring and healthy isn't inconvenient, either.

 

So take that Oprah!   You can eat at night and lose fat too!

 

I think I should have my own talk show called "Ed". 

 

I know for a fact that my "favorite things" episodes would be much cooler and there's no way Tom Cruise would jump around my furniture without getting a slap in the head.

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The preceding article was written by Ed Scow, aka "The Fit Dad". To learn more about Ed's story, click here.

To watch a sample 10-minute workout video, click here.

To discover Ed's 'Top Fat Fighting Foods', click here to read an interesting article.

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