Are you gaining on that Late Night Snack?

Do you find yourself heading to the refrigerator after dinner, or after the family is in bed for a late night snack? Could this be causing weight gain? The truth is yes! BUT, there are some specifics. It’s hard to find any conclusive metabolic evidence that food eaten at night is more likely to be stored as body fat. Some people tend to shy away from that evening snack because they do not want it to “sit in their stomach when they sleep” and be stored as body fat! It could be what and how much you are eating.

The truth is: metabolism drops when you are sleeping, but that simply lowers your daily energy expenditure and its 24 hour energy
balance (energy in versus energy out) that really matters for weight gain or loss. Your total energy (calorie) intake for the day is doing to more accurately determine your results – not solely based on your TV time snack. Research shows for fat loss, the more meals you consume during the day – the better off you will be, as long as your total calorie intake is balanced within a healthful range. Spreading your calories out throughout the day is important in weight management. To keep that metabolism running we need to give constant fuel. Think of a camp fire. We need to keep adding wood to a fire to keep it going –the same analogy can be made with food. If consistent fuel is not provided to the body – the metabolism will slow down.

The reason why eating at night may can cause weight gain is mainly because these (most of the time unhealthy) snacks can increase the total calorie consumption for the day. Simply eating dinner and eliminating snacking could be a simple way to cut TOTAL caloric consumption for the day – if you tend to snack heavily at this time. However; feel free to have your evening snack guilt free, as long as it is moderate in calories and healthy!

Healthy Evening Snacks Ideas:

  • Popcorn (Air Popped)
  • Pudding with Low Fat Milk
  • Fruit and Yogurt
  • Apple and String Cheese
  • Crackers with 2 Tbsp. Hummus Dip
  • Celery Sticks with Peanut Butter

In terms of weight management, your evening snack is not going to make or break your results. Your overall diet is going to determine this. If you are in need of nutritional counseling or meal and snack planning recommendations – please call Fitness Together to meet with our dietitian! Visit our website at

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Posted by on March 25, 2013. Filed under Nutrition,Weight Loss. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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