Skip Nav
Healthy Recipes
Here's How to Bake the Perfect Egg in an Avocado
Healthy Eating Tips
Meet the New Kale of 2016: Moringa
Beginner Fitness Tips
9 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting CrossFit

Eating After 7 p.m. Won't Cause Weight Gain

Diet Myth: Don't Eat After 7 p.m.

After gaining the freshman 15 (well more like 20), I started researching how to lose the late-night pizza weight. One tip I remember seeing all over the place was not to eat past 7 p.m. at night. This "rule" stemmed from the idea that you should stop eating two hours before bed. That's how the magic number of 7, 8, or 9 p.m. was born. This however is a myth, and if you're trying to lose weight, you should know that giving yourself a cutoff time to stop eating won't help you slim down. That's because food you eat at night does not automatically get stored as fat, as previously thought. The best way to drop pounds is to watch your portion sizes throughout the entire day, and not worry solely about your evening eating habits.

Even though it won't help with weight loss, it is a good idea to stop munching a few hours before you hit the hay in order to give your body time to digest. If you eat late at night and go to bed on a full stomach, you'll likely suffer from indigestion, heartburn, and gas, which will make it hard for you to get a good night's sleep.

Join The Conversation
amymac amymac 5 years
i couldn't agree more! people always want to set up rules, but the best way is really portion control and moderation! that's another reason we made our 10 Pound Cut Down workout program which only requires 1 hr of exercise a week!! check it out!
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
I think this "rule" might be helpful for me, if I could ever follow it. I usually eat dinner by 7:00, but I have a very hard time (even when I am full from dinner) not snacking and snacking and snacking until I go to sleep. My willpower is completely gone in the evenings. But knowing how I am, I just eat less earlier in the day.
fizzymartini fizzymartini 7 years
Autumns_Elegy, my friend told me there's a Serbian saying passed from the generations to that effect: "eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper". Of course I haven't managed to actually implement this yet, but I try to keep it in mind :) My line of work frequently involves late nights and early mornings, and I sometimes wonder whether my 9pm+ meals are doing my health any favours, especially when I go to sleep straight after! But I think my worst time is 2pm-5pm, where I snack incessantly...
sloane220 sloane220 7 years
i ever understood this. i like to eat whenever i'm hungry, it doesnt matter what time of day it is. as long as i'm not eating more calories then i should, does it matter what time of day it is?
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I find one of the best ways to drop pounds is to have breakfast as my biggest meal of the day, lunch as the smallest and dinner a bit bigger than long as its balanced you don't need to stop eating at 7pm. Just as long as you don't eat a box of donuts. :p
GummiBears GummiBears 7 years
Well I can't eat anything heavy after 7 anyways because I will get a bad case of an upset stomach.
becky0125 becky0125 7 years
i allot myself food to eat at night or else i'll just be pissed i don't get to eat anymore and then of course i'll just go nuts
Spectra Spectra 7 years
It's totally a myth. I eat at night all the time. It's WHAT you eat, not when. I routinely eat a bedtime snack at 10-11's just usually carrots and celery with salsa and an apple or yogurt; not a pint of Ben and Jerry's.
Susmita Susmita 7 years
I think the general view on the "don't eat after 7 pm" rule is that people were eating EXTRA food after dinner. In other words, it's OK to eat dinner at 8 (or 9), but it's less OK to eat dinner at 6:30 and then have a huge "snack" at 8! Yes, the old standby rule still applies -- calories out must exceed calories in if you want to lose weight!
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
i lost my freshman 15 by not eating after 6... but at the time i was staying up until at least 2 a.m. every night, which meant i spent most of my day not eating! It worked for me, but probably just because i was eating much less.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I agree it's a myth.
laellavita laellavita 7 years
i always thought of this rule as more of a way to keep people mindful of how much they are eating, since late night snacking can turn pretty mindless and is a great way to just add empty calories. but in terms of storing fat while you sleep, you burn more calories sleeping than you do watching tv, so it's just a matter of calories in vs calories out.
Rock-Star125929 Rock-Star125929 7 years
I've alllllllllllllllways wondered about this. Thank U for clearing this issue up. Its been haunting me for years :S! LOL @ mamasitamalita: That's the first thing I noticed too!
PinkNC PinkNC 7 years
I thought everyone knew this was a myth. The only reason you should not eat after a certain time at night is if your doctor tells you not to, because you have a procedure to be done the next morning on your body, such as surgery.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
wow that girl has LOTS of make up on
Why Running Doesn't Help With Weight Loss
CrossFit Benefits
Exercise Weight-Loss Mistakes
BBG Weight-Loss Transformation: Brooke
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds