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Does Eating Late At Night Cause Weight Gain?

Are you one of those people who  too much worry about gaining weight when eating late at night? .

Oh!  If you are, don't be, because eating late at night doesn't make you to  gain weight. 

You may have been  adviced not to eat after 8pm or so,  but I would say that the advice about eating late at night maybe misleading.

The fact, according to nutritionists, is that, what you eat is more important to tell if you would gain weight eating at night than the time you eat.

We will discuss and  distinguishes between eating late at night and gaining weight on this post. 

Circadian Rhythm About Eating 

The idea that you are gaining weight was drived from  studies made with animals which suggests that the body is likely to consume more  calories (amout of energy in the food you eat) at night  time which may result weight gain.

Does eating late ate night cause weight gain

Some researchers say that eating late at night is against your circadian rhythm (rhythm tells your body when to sleep, eat and wake up)

In addition, circadian rhythm states that nighttime is for resting and not for eating. 

Of course it is true. 

But, not all studies in humans support this concept.

A studies conducted in humans indicated that what you eat is much effective to your weight gain and is not necessarily time.

Reasons  Why  You  May  Gain Weight  Eating  Late  At  Night 

A study carried out by researchers, monitored the eating habits of 52 adults, they found that there were people who ate at 8 p.m and  consume more total calories than previous people who ate before the time. 

This shows that Late eaters gain weight over time if they consume high calories.

That is what important thing you should note. 

In Overall, when your total caloric intake is subject to your daily needs, eating at night does not lead to weight gain.

Yes!  Eating late at night does not cause you to gain weight but will cause you to gain weight depending on what you eat at nighttime. 


Although many animal studies have shown that eating at night is associated with increased weight, human studies show that eating in excess of your daily caloric needs increases the amount of food you eat during the day.

An explanation for the association between eating at night and weight gain is that late eaters eat more which also leads to much intake of calories.

For example, the researchers looked at the relationship between meal time and 59 total caloric intake. In particular, people who eat close to their bedtime eat more calories than those who ate their last meal in the past.

According to another study, people who ate between 11pm and 5am consumed about 500 calories more per day. Over time, the average meal increased by 10 pounds (4.5 kg).

Therefore, eating at night can lead to weight gain if you eat a surplus of calories.


Dinners eat more food and therefore take in extra calories. Over time, a surplus of calories can lead to weight gain.

Late eaters does not only eat more food, they also often prefer poor food.

At night, one is likely to choose unhealthy, calorie-dense foods. These are low nutrient foods such as chips, soda and ice cream.

There are many reasons why midnight eaters can’t easily get healthy food.

Eating dinner late

1. People who work for night shifts are a good example of this. Many studies suggest that night workers eat unhealthy foods for convenience because healthy options are not available in the workplace at night.

2. Emotional eating is another factor that leads to food choices at night. It is important to understand between true hunger and eating due to stress, anxiety, boredom or sadness.

In addition, tired food intake and high calorie foods are associated with cravings. This may be due to hormonal changes that affect appetite during sleep deprivation.

I would say that If you eat according to your daily caloric needs, you cannot increase your weight by eating at night.

If you are really hungry after dinner, then choose nutritious foods and drinks. These are low calorie foods with high nutritional value.

Some of the best options are :

  • carrot 
  •  Slice the apple with a small piece of your favorite nut butter
  • Plain popcorn
  • Some of the frozen grapes


Poor food choices appear too late at night when less healthy options are available. Eating or not eating when tired can also lead to less food choices. If you are really hungry after dinner, then choose a diet that is high in nutrients.

How  To  Control  Your  Eating Habits 

Although the total number of calories you eat affects your weight, research suggests that there are ways to control your appetite through time and frequency of meals.

For example, many studies suggest that eating a high-calorie breakfast may keep you longer and avoid eating at night.

In one study, people who ate 600 calories had less appetite and had fewer cravings per day than those who ate 300 calories at breakfast. The craze for sweets in particular has diminished.

Keep in mind that you do not need to take at least breakfast during the traditional time of eating at midnight. Follow your hunger signals and you can eat your first meal later than usual.

You may also consider eating smaller meals more often. Some, but not all, studies suggest that it can help manage your appetite and reduce feelings of hunger throughout the day.

Therefore, changing the timing and frequency of your meals is a strategy to reduce total calorie intake by maintaining appetite.


Appetite and cravings can be managed by eating more calories the day before and eating smaller and more frequent meals. These strategies can prevent you from eating at night. 

In conclusion, 

Calories doesn’t count more at night.

Lastly I say, You will not gain more weight by  eating late, if you eat within your daily calorie needs.

However, studies show that nighttime eaters typically go for poorer food choices and eat more calories, which can lead to weight gain.

However, go for healthy foods that are low in calories.. 

Try sharing to your friends this post. 

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