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Weight Loss
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What time do I stop eating

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In terms of night snacking....

I have heard all sorts of different things.  I have heard to not eat after 7, to stop eating 4 hours before bed, and that both these can be ignored if it is raw, naked fruits and veggies.  The problem is that I have added exercise to my routine and a usually don't get all of my calories in by dinner time.  Usually even after dinner I only have about 950-1000 calories (vegetarian).  I would like to be able to have a healthy snack after dinner, but usually forget until about 8 or 9.  I know that if I am going to bed starving it is a sign that I did not get enough nourishment during the day, especially now that I have started jogging.  What are the actual rules for how long before bed you should stop eating?  Are there any safe nighttime snacks versus ones that should be completely off limits (other than the obvious junk food)? 

I always appreciate everyone's help so much!  Thanks!


Stats:  22, F, 5'5", start weight= 148, current weight= 136, goal weight=115

8 Replies (last)

I often don't eat dinner til an hour before bed.

Don't have a mindless, midnight snack, have a sensible snack that will bring your calories up to a reasonable level, and you'll be fine. If you don't usually eat late, it might mean that you'll have a little food in your belly if you weigh in tomorrow morning, but your body doesn't stop burning calories at night, so it's not like it gets treated any different than eating during the day.

The recommendations to not eat after a certain time are a quick and dirty way to cut calories without counting, or set up rules to prevent nighttime overeating (when you are tired, you make worse decisions). But if you are within your calories and making good choices, there's no reason not to, and plenty of reasons you should get your calories up to a safer level.

I have always heard three to four hours before bed, no eating, if your hungry try a glass of water.

You can eat whenever you want... it's the calories that count.  The whole not eating before bed is one of the most common myths out there about weight loss.  What's interesting about it is that it's often quoted by personal trainers and nutritionists.  Next time they say that, tell them to look it up and get some research to back up their claim.  They can't, there is none.  There is plenty of research showing that it doesn't effect weight loss though. id/755705.html


I have dinner about a half hour to an hour before I go to bed, but I also go to bed at 8 am in the morning.  It hasn't hurt me.

I usually eat a snack about an hour before bed, but I drink a glass of water with my snack, so I don't retain any water... I have lost weight doing this, so I would say that you can eat whenever you want/need to... just count your calories! :-)

I usually stop eating anything around 8PM, and basically fill the remaining "hunger" with water if anything at all. The fact that there is a right and wrong time to stop or continue eating is a myth, however it is best to lay off of high sugar, or high carb foods since you tend to relax during those later hours of the night (obviously).

Good luck!

there are not set rules I suggest trying how you feel when eating at different times.

For myself, i know that I feel best when I get the majority of my kalories during the day and have a dinner that is light and not too late. piece of fruit/raw veggies and tea later on if i get hungry. And specially I cannot eat after exercising if it's after 7pm. I eat dinner before then nothing after- even if i have a big deficit that 1 snack goes right on the hips. dont ask me why

I stop eating 4 hours before bedtime. When I do this, unless I have been really bad during the day, I lose weight. Water doesn't add calories, but does silence the hunger pangs, if present. Your body will start to use fat for energy if you have given it enough time and protein to be sure that it doesn't digest muscle. High carb (even fruit)  snacks late at night can spike your blood sugar and then lead to low blood sugar later (hard on the pancreas). If you must eat, try protein. It would be better to get your calories earlier in the day, if possible. Late night snacks arrive just as the metabolism slows down for the night, so we tend to store them as fat.

8 Replies