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  1. #1
    YogaBare's Avatar
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    Does eating later make you fat?

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    Hey everyone,

    I've always been a "dinner at 6pm" person, but I go through periods where I have terrible insomnia - characterised by 4 hours sleep, after which I have to get up to eat something. After talking to some people on the forum, I decided to move my evening meal to much later. The last two nights I have eaten at between 8.30-9.30pm, and have had great nights sleep! Last night I slept for 8 hours... a record for me

    BUT, I noticed an immediate difference in my belly. It is very significantly more bloated / holding more fat. I didn't eat any more food than usual over the last two days - if anything I have eaten less, because I am starting to cut out snacking. Does anyone know what could be happening?

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    jsa23's Avatar
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    The difference definitely isn't fat - at least not after only two nights. Two nights of eating later isn't going to add a perceptible amount of fat to your body.

    On the other hand, the bloated feeling could be very real. One possible factor is that digestion slows down when we sleep - so if you're going to sleep before your food is fully digested your food may be spending more time in your digestive tract, giving you that full/bloated feeling.

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    Lynna's Avatar
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    no

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    BestBetter's Avatar
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    I read this interesting article on Martin's Leangains site a little while ago about this topic. He seems pretty confident that based on the research, late-night eating is not a problem at all, in terms of fat loss, and may even be a positive thing. Here is an excerpt from his site, with a link to the article, it's a good read.

    "The late night eating myth is mainly another consequence of mistaking correlation for causation in dietary epidemiology. There are plenty of observational studies that have found a positive association between calories consumed in the evening and a higher BMI in the general population.

    This association is solely attributed to the fact that Average Joe's who like to eat more in the evening also consume more calories overall. In this study, it was deducted from food logs that late eaters consumed on average 248 calories more than the other group.

    Similar relationships are commonly found in other observational studies on meal patterns. People who skip breakfast, skip meals and eat late at night are on average fatter and worse off than people who eat breakfast, regular meals and eat less in the evening. This has nothing to do with meal timing per se, but the lifestyle that goes in hand with "dysregulated" eating habits (as discussed in "Top Ten Fasting Myths Debunked")."

    Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health: Meal Frequency

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    inesenite's Avatar
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    I don't think so, there is probably a different explanation for bloating. And as jsa23 said - it's certainly not real fat.
    I lost 17 kg on clean but not paleo diet a while back, while having my last meal just before midnight and going to bed at 1am. So nobody will convince me that eating late makes difference, I think BestBetter explained it well enough.
    If anything, getting steady 8 hrs sleep will improve hormonal profile and thus help with weight loss. May be try experimenting with different foods, if bloating persists. Good luck!

  6. #6
    fiercehunter's Avatar
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    Late night eating isn't the issue, it's what you eat.

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    I usually have a snack right before bed (Primal snack of course) and I haven't gained weight. If you are noticing bloating in the morning, it certainly isn't fat, it wouldn't accumulate that quickly. You are probably retaining some water, possibly from salt in your last meal as well as your tummy being more bloated in general from having food in it before laying down for bed.

  8. #8
    Fernaldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiercehunter View Post
    Late night eating isn't the issue, it's what you eat.
    replace "what" with "how much". Regardless of time, if you consistently eat above what you burn through, you will gain weight
    "The problem with quoting someone on the Internet is, you never know if it's legit" - Abraham Lincoln

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    YogaBare's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the replies everyone. It's probably bloatedness cos I'm not used to eating so late. Hopefully it will adjust with time.

    Thanks for that link Bestbetter - it led me to look into the connection between ghrelin and sleep / appetite. Total revelation!! Looks like eating the right foods in the evening can make all the difference to how we sleep.

  10. #10
    paleo-bunny's Avatar
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    Eating sooner rather than later can make you fat.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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