We’ve all heard it hundreds of times: eating at night makes you gain weight. But is it true that human body assimilates differently calories consumed at night?
Although scientists still don’t have a crystal clear answer, the general opinion is that we should eat most of the calories in the morning, according to the old saying “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper.”
However, there are advocates of eating carbohydrates at night to lose weight. So, there’s no absolute answer on what to do about the “late night binge.” The reasonable thing here is to consider other parameters.
Put on the calories
If we stick to the caloric intake guidelines, a calorie is a calorie, anytime, anywhere.
We spend energy throughout the day through numerous activities: from walking to take the bus, swimming or dancing, even during kissing. Burning calories is an involuntary act that doesn’t require awareness. Even while we sleep the body burns a little fuel to keep everything on track.
Most weight loss programs focus on maintaining the so-called net fat balance, which is the difference between fat storage and energy wasting through the oxidation of fatty acids. So your net balance of daily, weekly or even monthly fat is what counts when it comes to losing weight.
Let’s say that your total energy expenditure in a day is 2,000 calories. If we eat only that amount of calories our weight will remain the same, regardless of when we eat them or their origin.
It doesn’t matter if we distribute calories in three daily healthy meals or eat them all in a large meal at night: the sum of calories in their ingredients will be the same, and our body will make the same effort to burn them regardless of our eating schedule.
However, metabolism slows down when you are hungry, so it’s better to divide meals throughout the day to accelerate calorie burning when you’re looking to lose weight that is.
The best way to lose weight is, in addition to maintaining an active and healthy life, limiting calories intake gradually. With the help of a professional nutritionist, you will stay in the right path to losing weight whether you prefer a heavy or a smaller dinner.