Does Eating Before Bed Really Make You Fat?

Verified on 05/16/2023 by Alexane Flament, Editor

Does Eating Before Bed Really Make You Fat?

Did you know that your body reacts differently to a calorie taken in the morning and a calorie taken in the evening?

Indeed, some studies explain that eating late at night or a few hours before bedtime could promote long-term weight gain.

Does eating at night really make you fat? We tell you more!

Timing of Calorie Intake Matters

A calorie is a calorie, but your body’s reaction to that calorie is not the same in the morning and in the evening. says Harvard Medical School neuroscientist Frank AJL Scheer.

Indeed, the glycemic index of a food varies according to the time of the day at which it is consumed.

According to Nina Vujovic, neuroscientist the challenge people face in eating at the healthiest times is that many don’t have regular hours or simply don’t have control over their schedule. ยป

The neuroscientist explains that eating within four hours of bedtime affects two hormones related to hunger. Indeed, if you eat close to bedtime, you burn fewer calories.

A revealing study

According to the results of the study published in the journal Cell Metabolism people who eat late are 10% to 20% more likely to be hungry during waking hours, especially in the morning.

Additionally, the results show that those who ate late had 16% lower leptin levels than those who ate early.

Leptin is a hormone produced by adipose (fat) cells in the body. It plays a crucial role in the regulation of appetite and body weight by acting as a satiety signal for the brain.

Leptin manages how much fuel is left in the tank according to Ali Zentner.

However, the study found that participants’ sleep duration and quality did not change whether they ate earlier or later. However, those who ate later burned fewer calories.

Ultimately, metabolism varies at different stages of a person’s circadian rhythm (internal clock). By altering when people take in calories, the rate of calorie expenditure changes dramatically.

To conclude, specialists advise to avoid eating during the first hour after getting up, when the cortisol level is at its highest, and to avoid eating within three hours before bedtime.

As you will have understood, have dinner as soon as possible, then close your kitchen door to avoid any temptation!

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