Mythbusters: No food after 7pm?

I was having quite a lot of fun doing the Eating Healthy in College series so I thought I would do another series for Made Real!

There are so many dieting rules out there, many of which contradict each other,  leaving readers confused as to who to listen to. One day fat is evil, the next its glorified. Another day, carbs are bad, and the next high carb low fat diets are all the rage.

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Honestly, I don’t support all this. I believe in a well-balanced diet. What is well-balanced? An apple in one hand, and a treat (read: ice cream) in the other. It’s about nourishing your body, but also treating yourself to unhealthier foods that you enjoy. It’s about nourishing both your mind and body.

In a bid to encourage you not to feel as if you have to be restricted by all these dieting rules, I’m starting up this series to show you whether these rules are fact or fiction. I hope to debunk some of these myths and relieve you of any restrictions you’ve had because of these food myths.

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So let’s begin with the rule that sets a time limit on when we should eat.

I’m sure you’ve heard people telling you not to eat at night and not to eat past 7/8/9/10pm. Well is that true??

Let’s ask a dietician:

Meet Christine Rosenbloom (PhD, RD, CSSD, of Georgia State University in Atlanta)
“There’s no proof for this myth, Rosenbloom says. She notes some small studies with mixed results, tests on animals, and a belief that because eating breakfast is linked to lower BMI, eating at night isn’t as good. But all in all, Rosenbloom says, it’s your calorie total that matters, day or night.” (Taken from here)

To put this myth to the test, I ate at really late hours for the past month or two just to show you that nothing happens! I’ve been eating all kinds of things ranging from ice cream (quite often actually), sandwiches, fruits and biscuits past 9 and 10pm, with the latest being 1am just to see how far I could stretch myself.

And do you have any idea how much weight I gained from eating late at night?!!!

*drumroll please*

None at all. Not any more or less than if I had eaten earlier in the day.

While I don’t encourage you to stay up late just to see if anything happens, or to purposely delay dinner/supper until midnight, I just want to reassure you that you don’t have to be constrained by the time limits imposed by diet websites! You can eat whenever you want.

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Well, I’m glad to DEBUNK this myth, and let you know that it doesn’t matter what time you eat, it’s what you eat that matters. You won’t gain any more weight from eating at night, as compared to when you eat in the day.

Ultimately, weight gain only comes about if your caloric total exceeds what your body needs/burns in a  day. And it’s really hard to gain weight unless you can get 500 extra calories a day, on top of what your body needs for survival and what your body used up in daily activities like studying and walking.
You’ll need 3500 calories excess each week if you want to gain 0.5kg in a week. Not so easy huh!

So take your eyes of the clock, let loose a little.

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If you’re hungry for a snack before you sleep… go for it! You’ll be able to fall asleep with a happy belly rather than tossing and turning cause your huger keeps you awake. (Happened to me one too many times before I broke this imaginary ‘time barrier’)

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Time matters when you spend it with friends or when you’re studying/working or when you’re sleeping.
But when it comes to food…let your hunger cues aka ‘tummy clock’ tell you when to eat!

If you have any suggestions about food myths you would like me to cover, just drop me an email or comment below, and I’ll be glad to cover them 😀

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