What time is it?

Nutrition specialists have long advised against late night eating.

While weight management IS just a mathematical equation – calorie intake versus calorie output – there are many complicating factors.

Among those factors:

  • poor late night food choices – we’re not eating our steel cut oatmeal at midnight
  • not allowing the body to “fast” before the morning meal – it is called breakFAST
  • disrupted sleep – adequate sleep helps our hormones which, in turn, help regulate satiety and hunger
  • calories are needed when they are used – during the day!

Many nutrition-related studies came out of last week’s American Heart Association’s meeting. One of which was a study of Hispanic and Latino Americans. This Columbia U study showed that high blood pressure and pre-diabetes were most common in people eating 30% of their calories after 6 PM. (I’m not certain if this was before the time change, but you get the drift.) Late night eating is a problem.

This study did NOT look at obesity, but we know the incidence and the degree of obesity has been on the rise for the last couple decades. What has changed? One of many changes is certainly the availability of food 24/7. In the old days (yes, I just said that), there were distinct mealtimes with a “fast” between dinner and breakfast.

Today, that doesn’t occur. In fact, for those of you following diet trends, intermittent fasting seems popular and “effective”. We need to allow the body to digest and metabolize our food. When we said “snacking” every few hours was healthy, we didn’t mean a full meal’s worth of calories every few hours was healthy.

Let’s slow down. Eat the earliest dinner as reasonable. Fast during the night and eat a nutritious breakfast. The old adage: eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like Prince William – was probably more helpful than most nutrition advice to be well.





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