This is a question that I get asked all the time and last week I even had someone try to avoid any carbohydrates in their evening meal because it was ‘too late.’
The answer is that it really doesn’t matter how late you eat. A calorie is a calorie no matter when it goes into your stomach. Eating too many calories = weight gain.
Where the problem lies is actually that people are more likely to make poor food choices at this time. It may be that you worked late and your last meal/snack was a long time ago or you are just boredom eating. This means that you are more likely to choose high calorie/fat/sugar foods (who craves salad when they are starving hungry?!?!)
So the bottom line is – it doesn’t matter how late you eat. The actual problem is your overall balance of food that day and avoiding boredom eating.
A few tips…
- Prepare meals at the weekend – I always have 2 meals in the freezer and ready to go for those evenings where I know that I am working late. This way I don’t overeat.
- Avoid having ‘picky’ foods in the house – Just don’t buy any foods like crisps/chocolate/bars that are easy to pick away at.
- Stay hydrated – often when you overeat, it is because you are thirsty. So try having a pint of water when you get home from work.
- If you come in from a workout late at night say 9/10 and you are starving hungry then why not have a healthy snack? Good options would be an apple and peanut butter / a yoghurt with berries / glass of milk or a small bowl of cereal (weigh it out!).
If you would like further dietetic advice please feel free to contact me.
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