I use to always enjoy eating at night.
Usually within the last hour before bed, I was either making something to eat or on my way out the door to buy fast food.
I would love to munch on something delicious while watching TV to wine down from a long day.
As you can already imagine, I began to add the pounds and add them fast!
I knew I needed to do something ASAP because this was going to get worse each week.
I realized that eating at night before bed was simply a habit I had created.
Most of the time, I wasn’t even that hungry, but watching TV and eating went hand and hand together for me.
I would usually eat dinner around 6:00 p.m., but would always eat something else around 10:00 p.m.
I began with simply stopping the late night eating.
I would lay in bed watching TV and push through the craving.
When I would feel hungry, I would drink a tall glass of ice cold water.
I had read online that this acts as a temporary appetite suppressant, and it worked.
I also began eating more protein and healthy fats for dinner because they both keep keep you feeling full and satiated a lot longer.
However, I realized that even though I was full from dinner, I still had the urge to eat while watching TV.
It got easier each week, and now I never eat after 6:00 p.m. unless I attend an event that requires a late dinner.
Does Eating at Night Before Bed Really Cause Weight Gain?
Yes and no.
If your calories for the day are at a deficit or maintenance level for your body weight by the time you go to bed at night, you WILL not gain weight.
This is a scientific fact and CANNOT be argued.
However, it is important to note that you have usually consumed all of your calories, if not more, by the end of the day.
So usually when people eat late at night, they end up going over their maintenance number and gain weight.
Unless you barely eat anything all day and/or have a low total calorie count before your last meal at night, you WILL gain weight.
It is VERY easy to go over your calories when you develop the habit of eating late at night.
You’re watching TV and are not conscious of how much you might be eating.
However, if you are conscious and make the effort ot make sure you’re not going over your calories, than you should have no worries about eating late at night.
Benefits of Going to Sleep on an Empty Stomach
Even though you won’t gain weight by eating late at night if you watch your calories, it’s important to note that there are still benefits to not eating before bed.
When you go to sleep on an empty stomach, you won’t have any food to digest.
Digestion can interrupt your sleep because your metabolism speeds up to digest food which in turn raises your body temperature.
Brain activity also increases during digestion, which interferes with your REM sleep.
REM is short for rapid eye movement.
REM sleep typically occurs in the first 90 minutes of sleep.
This is the part of sleep where nightmares occur.
If your stomach has food to digest, the odds of nightmares will increase due to all the blood
Gas and bloating in the early morning can also occur when you eat before bed.
When you go to sleep on empty stomach, your body can be fully relaxed and at rest.
As a result, you will enjoy a much better quality of sleep.
Are these facts enough to convince you NOT to eat before bed?
Yes, no, or maybe?
Whatever your response, I would advise you to experiment with not eating before bed.
See how much you improve the quality of your sleep and how rested you feel in the morning.