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Author Topic: Is it bad to eat last thing at night?  (Read 5769 times)

Offline John Chapman

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Is it bad to eat last thing at night?
« on: 21/08/2009 19:50:04 »
My Mum, who is a bit of a fatty, and has spent her whole adult life on one diet or another, believes she is an expert on the subject. Sheís always told me I should start the day with a hearty breakfast and cut down in the evening. Her justification for this is that if I eat a large meal before I go to bed I will not burn it off overnight and by the morning my pizza and chips will have turned into adipose tissue! According to her, body fat tends to stay where it is because the following day fresh calories are consumed which are exploited preferentially over those contained in the subcutaneous fat.

This seems counterintuitive to me. I always think of calories the same way as my bank balance. You bank so many calories per day and use so many. If you bank more than you Ďspendí you end up with a fattening calorie balance. If you spend more than you deposit your reserves diminish and you lose weight. It doesnít matter when you eat the calories or perform the exercise Ė itís simple arithmetic.

On the other handÖ..

Itís also occurred to me that if I do gorge myself before bedtime and yet Iím not still stuffed in the morning then I must have digested the food - which has presumably been converted to fat or glycogen, or whatever, for storage. This conversion must have a price and presumably some of the calories are lost in the process. Furthermore, when the fat is then converted back into calories I imagine some more calories are lost. This has got to be an inefficient way to exploit the energy from your food which, when you are dieting, has got to be a good thing. So I reckon that eating late at night is probably slightly better for dieting than eating early. Sorry Mum.

Furthermore, exercising in the morning before you eat must ensure the less efficient use of calories from deep storage rather than from sugars freely available in the blood and this should help you lose weight!

Iím sure this is an entirely specious theory, but it sounds good! And it flies in the face of popular opinion which says we should eat a hearty breakfast, not eat our evening meal too late and not work on an empty stomach. So who is right, the whole of the rest of the world or me?
 
« Last Edit: 21/08/2009 20:02:49 by John Chapman »


 

Offline neilep

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Is it bad to eat last thing at night?
« Reply #1 on: 21/08/2009 21:08:27 »
As a life long insomniac..eating late at night has always been my downfall.It's comforting to read your theory and I support it and will defy any authoritative evidence that supports the contrary.

I always eat late.......but then I sleep even later.........never eat breakfast and do my 5 miles on the treadmill before really eating anything (except maybe an apple) substantial....

I vote your theory to be jumped up to proven status !

 

Offline Variola

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Is it bad to eat last thing at night?
« Reply #2 on: 21/08/2009 21:14:12 »
I have to say, I always believe in the idea of not eating anything past 8pm, because it seemed that every diet magazine and nutritionist claimed it was true.
That is until fairly recently, whilst learning about the biochemistry side of metabolism and digestion, I asked my lecturer about it. He said its a complete myth! It doesn't matter what time you eat, it is what you eat and your energy expenditure that counts. Biochemically he is right too (well he would be!)
Although common sense dictates not to eat a big meal soon before going to bed as you may get indigestion but it won't make a jot of difference when it comes to calorie burning and fat storage.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Is it bad to eat last thing at night?
« Reply #3 on: 22/08/2009 00:02:52 »
I agree with Variola tht is what I have heard also.. but I tend to eat when I feel hungry usually twice a day and generally not breakfast except like Neil sometimes a piece of fruit and definitely not into sweet stuff in the morning like pancakes etc..makes me nauseous....
 

Offline neilep

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Is it bad to eat last thing at night?
« Reply #4 on: 22/08/2009 01:16:57 »
well..at 1:15am I just ate some sleepy tabs.........
 

Offline Karen W.

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Is it bad to eat last thing at night?
« Reply #5 on: 22/08/2009 01:30:46 »
Well sleep tight Neily! Sweet dreams...
 

Offline John Chapman

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Is it bad to eat last thing at night?
« Reply #6 on: 23/08/2009 10:27:12 »
Hi Neil

Yes, we all share your wishful thinking. At least all us undisciplined late night snackers do.


Hi Variola

Brilliant. Next time you see your lecturer ask him if he thinks that the inefficiency of converting late night snacks into fat and then back into ATP the following day means that night time munchies actually results in less weight gain than morning eating.


Hi Karen

I also eat only when I feel hungry and I usually have just one meal a day. Unfortunately that meal usually starts about 10am and comprises unbroken grazing until about 1am when go upstairs to bed, usually with a mouth full of Pringles.


Hi John Chapman

I still think youíre sexy, even if you are a greedy, bloated pig.
 
« Last Edit: 23/08/2009 10:31:45 by John Chapman »
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Is it bad to eat last thing at night?
« Reply #7 on: 23/08/2009 11:00:27 »
If my wife and I eat too late, we can't sleep. Food for thought?
 

Offline Nizzle

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Is it bad to eat last thing at night?
« Reply #8 on: 24/08/2009 12:30:34 »
All y'all are forgetting a major thing about dieting.

Metabolism rate: Every body has a fixed metabolism rate (ie: when 5 people are sitting on a chair next to each other doing absolutely nothing, they will all burn a different amount of calories per hour).

Doing regular workouts and having an active lifestyle has proven to increase this metabolism rate, so a fit person sitting on a chair doing nothing still burns more calories than an inactive person sitting next to the fit person doing the same kind of nothing.

So there is more to the simple 'banking calories' theory stated in the OP.

PS: Sorry to disappoint some of you here...
« Last Edit: 24/08/2009 12:32:10 by Nizzle »
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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Is it bad to eat last thing at night?
« Reply #9 on: 24/08/2009 13:07:20 »
just poking my head in to make things even more confusing and hard to determine :D

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20327173.300-the-burning-truth-about-calories.html
 

Offline Karen W.

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Is it bad to eat last thing at night?
« Reply #10 on: 24/08/2009 17:33:22 »
LOL
Hi Neil

Yes, we all share your wishful thinking. At least all us undisciplined late night snackers do.


Hi Variola

Brilliant. Next time you see your lecturer ask him if he thinks that the inefficiency of converting late night snacks into fat and then back into ATP the following day means that night time munchies actually results in less weight gain than morning eating.


Hi Karen

I also eat only when I feel hungry and I usually have just one meal a day. Unfortunately that meal usually starts about 10am and comprises unbroken grazing until about 1am when go upstairs to bed, usually with a mouth full of Pringles.


Hi John Chapman

I still think youíre sexy, even if you are a greedy, bloated pig.
 
..LOL..I love nacho cheese chips or barbeque... but seldom buy them as it is such a sugar rush... LOL They are good though even pringles they have a really nice potato flavor! Hmmmm.. I wonder why??? LOL

I sometimes do that to an apple in the morning about ten or so then maybe cherries or a couple crackers with cheese in the later hours before dinner then dinner unless I add tomatoes and or other finger foods veggies and fruit.. and call it good. I love fresh vegetables and fruit!
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Is it bad to eat last thing at night?
« Reply #11 on: 24/08/2009 19:33:14 »
Shouldn't you brush your teeth last thing at night?
 

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Is it bad to eat last thing at night?
« Reply #11 on: 24/08/2009 19:33:14 »

 

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