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Do you gain weight by eating before bedtime?

  • Posted by Catherine Tumelty
  • 25 February 2013

We’ve all heard the advice that eating right before you go to bed causes you to gain weight. But, is this actually true? No. Weight gain occurs when you consume more calories than what you’re burning throughout the day. You could eat your entire calorie intake after 6pm and you wouldn’t gain any more weight than if you consumed them all earlier in the day. A common rule many people use is to stop eating 3 hours prior to sleeping so that their food has time to digest. This is a good rule, however you can find that you may go to bed with a growling stomach. If you can afford to use some calories and want to fight the growl while not stimulating weight gain or starving yourself, go for a small portion of wholegrain carbohydrates or protein. These are low in fat and will leave you feeling fuller for longer, without stimulating any weight gain. On the flipside, while eating right before bedtime, especially if its your main meal, may not promote weight gain, it can cause disruptions with your sleep and may even cause cramping and bloating in the morning depending on what you consumed the night prior. For instance, if you eat a curry you are more than likely to wake up feeling not too fresh and regretting eating it. To put it straight, you will not gain weight by eating right before you head to bed if you have not consumed all your calories for the day. But, depending on what you ate before going bed can definitely affect your quality of sleep. What's your food habit at night?