View Full Version : Understanding/Explaining eating at night

02-24-2009, 08:56 AM
This is what I understand (If I'm wrong, correct me. Feel free to add so that I can better explain myself):

When eating food before you sleep (1 hour to 4 hours), there is no health risk or risk of gaining extra weight because 'you've eaten before you go to bed and your body slows down thus processes them slowly' and in fact the opposite is true. From the moment you stop eating to the time you wake up in the morning your body will eventually 'want' energy of some sort and having something in your system is not a bad thing. From what I understand, the only time you shouldn't eat before you sleep is if you get upset stomachs or nightmares.

I work odd shifts meaning that while I eat 8 meals a day, the last 2 can be close to 11pm or 12am. I go to bed anywhere between 2 and 4am. To me, this is as normal as I get. Others around me say that 'this is why you aren't going to lose weight. you need to stop eating late at night.'

Either I've learned something wrong and I'm being stubborn about it, or I'm right and I need to figure out a way to better explain this (My wife happens to side with the others, which is why I want to be able to explain things properly). I trust the judgment of this forum to answer this question.

02-24-2009, 09:09 AM
Eating at night is fine. Sometimes, I'll wake up at 3-4am and eat a big snack and go back to bed. For weight loss, when it's all boiled down all that really matters is a sustained caloric deficit.

I am glad you trust our judgement over the masses. Most people just regurgitate tidbits of information they heard from someone who is doing the exact same thing. In bodybuilding, we call that broscience. It's a big no no.

02-24-2009, 09:25 AM
The truth is that it doesn't make any bit of difference. You can either eat before bed or not, it's a comfort thing. I do believe it's more about WHAT you eat. It's generally a bad idea to have a lot of sugar before bed because it can affect your sleep in addition to messing with your insulin levels. However, if you're going to have some protein in there too, then it's not as big a deal. Eat anything too heavy and you might be unfomfortable while you sleep.

Personally, I like to eat a cup or so of cottage cheese or have a scoop of protein in milk maybe an hour before bed if I do anything at all. The dairy proteins will take a longer time to break down and keep me digesting overnight. The result is that I don't wake up hungry and want to gorge first thing in the morning. This can happen if you eat a lot of sugar, you wake up hungrier.