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Health Myths Debunked: Should You Eat After 7pm?

Kayla Reynolds, MS

Do you need to shut down your kitchen at 7pm?

The Myth

You shouldn’t eat after 7pm.

The Background

We can’t pinpoint exactly where and when this concept came to be, but this myth is widespread…

The Facts

While studies in mice may suggest otherwise, current research doesn’t show that humans break down calories any differently at 7am versus 7pm.

So currently, there is no strong evidence supporting the idea that you “shouldn’t” eat after 7pm or that eating at night is “bad” for your health.

But, whether YOU should eat after 7pm is a different story.

Some studies have shown an association between high calorie intake at breakfast (vs. high calorie intake at dinner) and greater weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and improved triglyceride levels, in people who are overweight or obese.

Why?

Eating at night is often associated with eating more calorie dense food, snacking, poorer food choices, exceeding your calorie needs, and mindless eating (ie. eating more).

So if you’re someone who struggles with snacking, staying within your calorie budget, or mindful eating, avoiding eating at night might be a good decision!

Some people aren’t as hungry in the morning or prefer eating larger meals towards the end of the day. If you’re someone who prefers going to bed feeling satisfied, allowing yourself to eat a light meal later in the evening might be a better, more sustainable tactic to help keep you on track.

The Bottom Line

For most people, eating after 7pm isn’t a problem as long as you’re sticking to your calorie budget. Keep in mind that eating regularly throughout the day can help you feel satisfied and make better choices in the evening — when snacking, poor food choices, and mindless eating tend to get the best of some people!

This is a sample lesson from Noom’s customized weight loss course library. Personalize your course and start a 14-day free trial today!

  • Saeed

    Thanks for great note.
    I used Noom to reduce my weight 20kgs three years ago.
    Now I want to gain muscle with weight/strength training , so I eat like 5-7 egg whites after my workout (which is usually 11 PM- I return from work at 9 pm) but without Carbohydrate it seems there is no muscle gain . I started to eat spaghetti or boiled potato with egg whites yet I’m not sure eating in that time of the night is more belly-obbessing or muscle gaining?!