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12/11/13

Midnight Stack: Eating late shouldn't equal a lot of sleepless nights

As you embark on a pledge to start eating better, you'll be hit with plenty of misnomers and disinformation regarding your diet.
But perhaps none of those supposed truths will come across as gospel quite like the notion that eating late at night adversely affects your plan on slimming down.
Or does it?
The driving force behind that dissertation directly links eating late at night or just before bed as a means to gaining weight. Talk of slowing your metabolism or your stomach having to work too hard while you are sleeping sounds like it makes perfect sense or has some semblance of science behind it.
Turns out, it doesn't.

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You have little say in the matter of when your body needs fuel, whether it is 1 in the afternoon or well past midnight. The actual processing of food regardless of the time is the same. That isn't to suggest that eating just before bed is advisable. That action could easily lead to stomach pain or restless nights depending on if you're having a small snack or decided to hit an early breakfast buffet before calling it a night.
But the food aspect doesn't trace back to weight gain in any form or fashion.
Most likely, the talk of eating past a certain hour and gaining unwanted pounds gained credibility from those who struggle to maintain a healthy weight and assume late night snacking is the cause. What they didn't bother to debate is exactly what, as opposed to when, they're eating.
Gaining weight is about ingesting too many calories on any given day for a prolonged period of months or years. If you've opted to eat Doritos, nacho cheese and bologna as a consistent snack, the time of day you're doing will be a moot point.
The general public gets itself into quite the weight gain bind by doing most of its snacking at night, say if you can't sleep or are staying up late watching television. This is especially a dangerous combination if you have a work schedule that brings you home for the day after hours, as opposed to a 5'o clock quitting time.
Plopping down to watch a late night Sportscenter or an episode of "Conan" could leave you unwittingly eating food that isn't enviable for the overall cause you're pursuing: losing weight and getting in shape.
Incorporating bad eating habits or selecting foods that aren't fresh fruits or vegetables first and foremost knows no boundaries.
And that poor judgment certainly doesn't have any kind of curfew, either.

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