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NOT eating after 6:00pm

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I am going to try not eating after 6:00pm.   I think the times that I have avoided eating after 6:00pm I have seen a small weight loss the next day.

Can someone share their experience with doing this and how hard it was and what they did.

One of the most comforting things for me to do in the evening was to come home and cook a nice healthy meal.  Whether it was a nice Salmon and veggies or Steak and veggies, it was something I enjoyed.  Dont know how it will feel like if I skip it.

I know it can be done and I've spoken to a lots of people that have been able to lose a lot of weight by doing this.

Thanks for sharing.

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My best tip for you is don't push it so early. I have tried this thing as well where I don't eat past a certain hour. But I make it by 9:00pm as it's more realistic because I don't go to bed until midnight. Which means you should have finished your dinner by 8:30 pm and ready to digest.

If you make it too early like 6:00 pm what can happen is, you're spending this time at home, you start getting hungry and bam you're going to be fighting stronger cravings than you normally would if you were at work. Even if you're eating low calorie foods you might end up munching and munching.

Keep what makes you feel comfortable because veggies and salmon are great. Skip the steak for now. Eat light foods before bed but filling enough and stop after 9:00pm. You should be good to go! It works for me :) If you get hungry just drink water or something to fill your stomach.

The reason I ever tried this is because my friend actually did the same where he stopped after 9:00pm and I found it quite interesting. It works! Also sleeping more than 5 hours helps too!

Make sure to eat a good breakfast in the morning to kick start your metabolism again! You won't gain weight by eating eggs and protein in the morning :)

Wait.. so are you saying you would skip dinner entirely or that you would eat your evening meal before 6pm?

There's a big difference.

First of all, there is no magical time of day at which the calories you consume will all turn to fat or into weight gain. You either eat the number of calories your body requires for healthy weight loss, or not.

If you are planning on consuming all of that daily requirement before 6pm, I don't see a problem with that if it suits your schedule. However, if there is a long time between that final meal and your bedtime, you may find that you get cravings for snacks later in the evening (especially if you are active/ working out during that time).

If you are suggesting that you skip dinner entirely, basically another way to consume less calories .. I think this is a plan that is doomed to failure. Your body needs a certain number of calories per day... how and when you consume them does not matter, but eating a lot less than you need can actually stall out your weight loss and not consuming enough, can lead to your body urging cravings which can lead to overeating.

The difference you have noticed on the scale is simply food weight in your system after a later or earlier than usual evening meal; the process of digestion continues long after the food leaves your stomach.

I think your previous evening ritual is great actually. A healthy meal, anticipated and enjoyed, goes a long way to that satisfaction level that most of us want. You could continue with this tradition and not harm your long term loss ratio.

Great idea! I would agree that maybe increasing it my hour. So, don't eat after 8 for a few days, than after 7, etc.

I've been trying to do this myself as a few weeks ago when our power was out for 8 days, I didn't eat at night causing me to lose about 6 pounds. It's definitely work a shot!

Technically, the time of day or night that you eat really has nothing to do with weight loss. It's all about calories. Whether you have all of your calories before 6pm or after 6pm, it doesn't matter. You might see a slight change on the scale the next morning, but it's misleading. It's like weighing yourself before you pee in the morning, then after you pee. Or before you drink water, and after you drink water. If you eat later at night after 6, you're bound to still have most of that in your system when you weigh yourself the next day. If you eat before 6, it'll most likely have digested most of it and you'd weight a tad bit less. It's an illusion. It isn't REAL weight loss unless not eating after 6 saves you from consuming more calories, in which case that WILL result in weight loss.

Personally, I'd rather shave off 500 calories daily from my maintenance level calories and stretch it throughout the day until about 8 or 9, as I don't go to bed until 11 or 12. That way I'm not starved in the evening, cause I can't get a good nights sleep if I'm hungry, and sleep is important in weight loss as well. And filling myself with water just doesn't cut it, cause I'm hungry one minute after that!

Overall, I say do what you feel is best for you. If not eating after 6 sounds good and you think you can do it without binging because of the evening cravings and stomach-cramping hunger, then go for it. But not eating after 6 will not help you lose weight unless it helps you cut your daily calories. :)

Much Love and Alohas,


I suspect a lot of people who have a "problem" with eating late, are eating a normal dinner and then coming back for a midnight refrigerator feed. On whatever is easy to rustle up at midnight - ice cream, ding dongs, cold pizza, etc. And not really due to needing the calories, but due to boredom or ritual habit. My dad does this. He'll eat "healthy" all day, or so he claims, and late at night he'll sit down to a double bowl of ramen or soba or other noodles, that probably has several hundred calories. Cutting that out would probably help, simply by reducing calorie intake.

If you're simply moving the normal dinner from 7 pm to 6 pm, I doubt it makes any difference. I haven't looked into this exact thing, but I did once go looking for research on "fewer but larger meals vs more but smaller meals". A bunch of studies, admittedly some being on rats, found that it made no difference whether X calories were eaten in 2 meals a day or 6 meals a day. I know human psychology is different from rats (maybe) and most of us aren't having our calories metered out by men in white lab coats who are planning to dissect us later (hopefully).

Here's something else to consider. If you give yourself less time to make dinner, you may end up eating different foods. More packaged convenience foods, less scratch-cooking. That may be counter-productive. Though it could also mean you don't have time to bake the usual pecan pie or peach galette, I don't know . . .

Finally, I want to mention an odd bit of psychology that I've noticed in myself, and that some others have said they have as well. Some people just "need" to spend time with food, but are equally satisfied by the cooking as by the eating. I'm one. If I cook for hours and hours, six courses for a dinner party, then by dinner time I'm not hungry at all. I eat a bite to be polite, no more. (No, I don't "taste" myself a whole meal during the cooking, unless you count the cooking wine.). But if the food comes from a takeout place, or the leftover shelf, or my wife cooks it, then I eat a normal amount, maybe more. You might see if you have this behavior as well. If so, you might benefit from the leisurely meal preparation.

For me it's super easy and it doesn't really make any impact whatsoever in my weight loss or not. BUT that being said, I am not an evening snacker and never have been. By stopping eating after dinner, I don't cut out extra calories because I've never been one to forage in the evening. Unless I'm at a party or at a specific social event where eating is going on in the evening, I never eat past dinner.  Ever. I'm not even tempted to do so.  I actually stop eating about after 5 or 5:30 most nights, although to be fair, I wake up extremely early and go to bed ridiculously early (at like 9 or 9:30). Now, if someone has a solution for my biggest problem, which is between 3 p.m. and dinner...THAT'S when I want to eat to bring down the house.

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Original Post by slim150:


I am going to try not eating after 6:00pm.  [...]

Can someone share their experience with doing this and how hard it was and what they did. [...]

It's not hard at all - if you go to bed at 6:30.

Look, the problem is not really if you eat or drink after some magic hour ... it's about what you eat and how much

Without doubt, it is possible to eat on a 500 cal deficit without creating some unsustainable rules and regulations. Now, if you are ok with not eating anything after 6pm as a sort of lifestyle, then that could work for you. Hopefully your friends are up for an early bird special when you invite them over for dinner :)

Otherwise, I would relax and ask myself not to mindlessly shovel in some food while watching the tele or something. I kind of imagine that my body gets really mad at me if I am hungry and do not eat ... out of spite it will screw up my metabolism, I am afraid ;) 

My point is that if your diet plan turns into being a pain, you will get off it sooner or later ... and you go back to something that has not proven for you to keep the weight off permanently - and what good is weight loss that you can't keep off five years from today ?

Really all the recommendations of skipping eating at night do is reduce the total amount of food consumed.  i agree that there is nothing magic about when you eat calories.

However, I must add, pretty much the main way I gained all my weight (and it's a lot) was from binge eating at night.  So if I did this and stuck to it (probably 7 or so since we don't always eat by  6) I'd probably do much better maintaining.  Although, now for example, I ate at 7 and have been hungry ever since and I have to have some sort of snack or I will not be able to sleep.

I have pretty much used this theory most of my life.  I cannot eat anywhere close to bedtime -must be at least 3 hours prior.  I grew up in a household where Mom had dinner ready at 5-5:30 because my dad had to get up at 4am.  I still like to eat before 6:30 (I, too, have to get up early).  There is a book (my dad's favorite)  that told all about why it's not healthy to eat later.  Fit for Life.  It also talks about food combining.  It's always worked for me - when I follow it.  I just feel much better and keep weight off.

you all know its a myth about eating at night times? if its to stop cravings then i think its doomed anyway... i would suggest simply eating slightly smaller portions through out your day to allow the calories for a snack before going bed. your body doesnt care when it gets fed within reason

i.e instead of breakfast/1st snack being 450 cals, lunch and second snack 500 cals, and dinner 500 cals, make them 350,400,450 and the 250 calories left can be a bowl of cereal, fruit, yogurts etc. this is just an example

basically spread your calories over the whole day so you can have the odd little snack when your hungry.

i personally have a water based protein shake(many flavours) at 10pm every night, simple, healthy and 200 calories for 35g of protein. also makes me feel a little fuller and helps me sleep

i mean think logically, bmr is the amount of food before doing anything, so basically if you were sleeping, mine for example is 1900 a day. if i sleep 8 hours, then during my sleep i will burn 633 calories. and at no time while i am asleep can i put any of that back in so why would you make this period even longer? its just gonna slow your metabolism surely?

Thanks everyone for your input.   I tried it yesterday.  Had a nice dinner of roasted chicken and vegetables at about 6:30pm and just water after that.   About 30 oz of water.  That kept me from eating the trail mix that is getting me into trouble.

I will try it again tonight.  Eat by no later than 6:30pm, drink lots of water and then I have a Rumba class.

I'll post my willpower tomorrow.


how many hours before bed? I work 5-10 in the evening and have to have a snack when I get home. I usually stay up till 2 or 3 am. I save calories from the daytime food just to get to do that.

If you're a late night eater why not skip breakfast, have your normal, healthy (I'm guessing) lunch and then have dinner. I used to believe all the hype about breakfast until I heard otherwise, it doesn't kickstart your metabolism, you won't start eating your own muscles. Find out what works for you, if you like a big evening meal, why not try Intermittent Fasting, similar to what I suggested as above.

Well - When I started out on my weightloss journey (Im now maintaing) I punished myself by not eating after 7pm...whick is my favourite time to start snacking. I soon found out (the hard way) that it was never going to work as all it was achieveing was making myself miserable!

Now - 70lbs lighter I ALWAYS snack after 7pm - I realised that for my loss to be acomplished I had to let myself eat after a certain time! Even if its just a bowl of fruit or some nuts and seeds, I really really look forward to that time of the evening when my jobs are done for the day and i can have a little snack!

Good luck on your journey!

Epic fail.

Oct 07 2011 13:40
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If it breaks up a monotonous routine and motivates you, great. When I was in Spain and France it was common to eat dinner very late, and very few of the people I ate with were fat. But very few of them were snackers either, and they had been conditioned to eat late for generations.
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Original Post by flo1982:

Well - When I started out on my weightloss journey (Im now maintaing) I punished myself by not eating after 7pm...whick is my favourite time to start snacking. I soon found out (the hard way) that it was never going to work as all it was achieveing was making myself miserable!

Now - 70lbs lighter I ALWAYS snack after 7pm - I realised that for my loss to be acomplished I had to let myself eat after a certain time! Even if its just a bowl of fruit or some nuts and seeds, I really really look forward to that time of the evening when my jobs are done for the day and i can have a little snack!

Good luck on your journey!

That's really what it boils down to ... do whatever will work for you long term. Losing weight in some sort of 'dietary state of emergency' with a 6pm curfew will not work because even if you lose weight under such rules, you are likely to gain it back once you resume your 'normal' life.

Weight loss is your normal life on a 500 cal deficit - with 'normal' being what you work out to be your new life style.

I've been doing it for the past three weeks and I've lost 6LB (I've gone from 130 to 124) despite not having a chance to work out more than three times in this time period. The key I've figured out is to eat a good breakfast and a satisfying lunch while still keeping it healthy. Balance out your calorie intake by adjusting portion size... for instance if your only option for lunch is pizza then stick to just one or two slices at the most...If you only have pasta on hand then make sure you eat no more than a cup and you can bulk it up with veggies and/or a lean protein like grilled chicken. 

Then for dinner I do a protein shake at 6 if i work out or a small meal if I don't. I love to cook dinner to and I still have to feed my husband... so when I get home from work i cook what ever I like, let my husband eat dinner and pack a nice portion for myself to take to lunch the next day. That way I have something to look forward to at lunch time :)

And fgransee and flo1982 are right... if you are really craving a snack after six...you can always have few (8-10) nuts or a small fruit. Also you would do well to take one day off in the week so you can eat out with your friends and family.

Best of luck!

Original Post by neanderthin:

Epic fail.

This.... I eat right before bed every night, usually a snack or a late dinner depending. Hasnt ever affected me and Ive lost almost 60 in 5 months...

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