We’ve all heard the old wives’ tale that eating at night means gaining more weight than eating during the day. And, while that is somewhat true, most late night eating myths are nothing more than tall tales used to discourage you from enjoying that popcorn and movie at 2 AM. If you’re the type who loves to snack at night or who feels more comfortable eating at 9 PM than 6 o’clock, don’t worry. Not all late night eating is created equal. Take a look at 5 late night eating myths you can feel better about ignoring.
Eating Late at Night Makes You Gain Weight Faster
Wrong! While some foods do encourage more weight gain – think cheeseburgers – not all foods equal weight gain during late night eating. For the most part, as long as you are keeping up with your caloric intake, healthy food consumption, and an active lifestyle, eating at night don’t attribute to extra weight when you wake up in the morning.
Any Foods Eaten Late at Night are Stored as Fat
Nope, wrong again. Again, just like with weight gain, not all foods automatically equal a muffin top when you go to put on your jeans the next morning. For the most part, foods that are healthy or low in fat will not be stored as such when eaten late at night. To make sure this remains a myth, snacking on fruit or veggies when late night eating will ensure you stay trim or lean.
Your Metabolism Stops at Night
This is both true and false. While metabolism isn’t as active at night, saying it stops completely is wrong. Your body naturally continues to burn calories at night, even while you sleep. Those with a slower metabolism naturally will find it harder to lose weight when late night eating while those who have a faster metabolism might not notice any difference at all. How your body treats food eaten later in the night is completely reliant on your body.
Eating at Night is Worse for Women
While women naturally have different metabolisms and fat storing qualities than men, that doesn’t mean men are more able to eat more at night without worrying. Women and men, when following a diet, are likely to store late night eating fats and calories similarly. Regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, how late night eating affects your body is more about what you’re eating than who is eating it.
All Late Night Eating is Created Equal
This is probably the biggest myth of them all. Yes, some foods are not recommended for eating late at night. Greasy foods, dairy, sugary foods are not only more likely to add weight to your body at any time you eat them, but they will also keep you awake at night. When you’re craving a late night snack, opt for fresh produce, lean meats, whole grains, or fiber filled foods. Not only will they settle more easily, but they will be more likely to nourish your body.