In this article I’m going to clear up something else that seems to be banded around the industry and causes a LOT of confusion.
Does eating late at night make you fat?
Well if you would of asked me that when I’d just started out I would have told you YES!
You see when I started out I was actually taught that eating late at night will store more fat because if you follow that with going to bed straight after you are going to be inactive and therefore won’t use up the energy from food.
I was also told that it was dangerous not to eat all day and then to eat at night because not eating throughout the day would slow down our metabolisms and the late meal would of course lead to fat gain – it was apparently how sumo wrestlers ate to get so fat!
After around about 5 to 6 years in the industry some gurus told us not to eat after 6pm, especially carbs – because after 6pm your metabolism starts to slow down and you can’t use up the food as fuel!
These days thankfully I am now aware to some of the complete and UTTER BOLLOCKS the industry has spat out over time, leading us fitness professionals (and our paying clients up the garden path).
I’ve said recently that there seems to be a shift in the industry to a more common sense approach and that the ones who rattle on about ‘hormones’, ‘detoxification’, ‘managing insulin’ etc are getting slowly found out…..
o, back to eating late at night – does it make you FAT?
The answer is plain and simply – only if it puts you in a calorie surplus for the day….
It really makes no difference what time you eat, it comes down to total daily cals in versus total daily expenditure….
Think about this for a second – you know when people said don’t eat after a certain time because it makes you fat – what if you were on a plane and you flew to a different time zone and it was now the morning – do you think that would alter things? Of course it wouldn’t, you can see this is just rubbish!
A few things to consider when it comes to eating later at night however.
Do you enjoy going to bed feeling fuller? I know I do – I actually do struggle to get to sleep feeling hungry and find I wake up in the night a lot more than if I got to bed full.
Therefore I personally no longer give a shit about eating later in the evening. In fact I do what I was told Sumo Wrestlers did to get fat and not eat a great deal until about 2pm because I prefer to eat the majority of my calories later in the day as socially it works for me (sitting down with family and eating after a busy day).
I therefore build up a decent energy deficit throughout the day from not eating a great deal (intermittent fasting – I love this by the way and feel great for it) and then can enjoy plenty of good food in the evening, even accounting for some of my kids left overs (most parents have told me they have issues with left overs just like me so why not account for this from time to time?)
Let’s be fair – no sumo wrestler ever starved himself through the day and then ate a big meal in the evening to gain weight did they? No, they fucking ate all day – you only have to look at them to know that!
Other things to consider, are you up very early? I don’t like to go to bed too full if I’m up very early as it makes me sluggish – again this is just me.
The bottom line is eating late at night does NOT make you fat, your metabolism does NOT go to sleep as you are a living and breathing organism and therefore always burning calories, even in your sleep. Your metabolism will only halt when you are dead and then you won’t be worried about eating anyway because you’re dead!
Look, if eating later at night suits you because of life, kids, training, whatever it is then do not stress – like I said it comes down to your daily intake, thats all that matters!
So as long as you have handle on energy balance – work out your requirements over at www.calculator.net and have room left to consume some food late at night, then by all means crack on.
Just make sure you consider my points above how eating later at night makes you feel rather than worry about fat gain because it’s after 6pm!
As always do what is right for you. Some people love going to bed full, others not so much – always consider what is best for YOU and you’re lifestyle