Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Diet Myth #2: Eating at night results in weight gain


No!

A review of the research indicates that eating late dinners or snacking at night will not lead you to gain weight faster. Rather, it's the total number of calories you eat in a day that matters... it makes no difference when those calories are eaten.

A 2006 study published in Obesity Research observed rhesus monkeys (supposedly an excellent model for humans) fed a typical North American diet for a year. The monkeys' eating patterns varied greatly- they ate between 6-64% of their calories at night. The monkeys that ate the majority of their calories at night did not gain more weight than those that ate more during the day.
Human studies have found the same thing.

That said, we do recommend you spread your calories throughout the day:
Eat breakfast to rev up your metabolism and break that fast and eat every 4-6 hours to keep your body and brain fueled and to regulate your appetite.
If you do get hungry at night, stick with portion-controlled snacks of less than 200 calories- ie. small bowl of cereal, fruit, air-popped popcorn, yogourt, whole grain toast with peanut butter etc.

If you find yourself restricting your food intake all day and eating the majority of your calories at night, talk to your doctor.
Night-Eating Syndrome, although not officially defined as an eating disorder yet, is a form of binge eating and is becoming more understood by the medical community.
Symptoms include:
  • Little or no appetite for breakfast.
  • Eating more than half of one's daily food intake after dinner. This behaviour continues over a period of at least three months.
  • Feeling tense, anxious, upset or guilty while eating.
  • Having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Eating continually in the evening rather than bingeing in relatively short episodes.
  • Experiencing guilt and shame from eating rather than enjoyment.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog.

I'm confused though. If you're a professional involved in education and nutrition why is it you've given Google permission to place ads for scams on your blog?

IMHO it cheapens your work.

Jme said...

Great blog.

Nice post Anonymous. What are you a professional disturber? Blogspot IS Google, had you done any research at all. Furthermore, the adds that are placed are not the blogger's choice. The companies buy ad spots on pages with the key words they choose. So... it makes Nutrition Nibbles just that much more important because there are so many scams out there concerning nutrition.

Gina said...

Such wonderful information. i hadn't heard of that study but I will definitely tell this to my clients who tell me they never eat anything after 6 pm!

Anonymous said...

Bullsh*t Jme,

Blog owners choose whether or not to allow ads.

Nice rationalization though.

BTW having scams advertised on your site doesn't make your site more important, it just suggests that the blog owner wants to make a few bucks off the public's gullibility.

Chow and Chatter said...

nice post and very interesting discussion Anonymous is right I thought about doing adsense on my blog i am also a dietitian and decided against it for this very reason.
Food Buzz is ok as adverts, are more tasteful

Sybil Hebert, RD said...

Thanks for the nice comments.
As for the ads, yes- it's a choice to have them on and i don't choose the content. I read somewhere that having them on generates traffic- which would be great if that's true because i'd love to reach as many people as possible- this is the reason i have them on... not to make money.
The ads are pretty small on my site and i kind of find them interesting. There are some good ones and some are for diets and other "scams". For example, there was one for a lemonade diet- prompting me to blog about it. You can't hide from ads- they're everywhere. The purpose of my blog (and what I work hard doing) is to educate about nutrition... which includes these 'scams'. To say that the tiny ads "cheapen" my content is a bit mean-spirited, anonymous. I also don't appreciate the swearing...
I didn't have the ads until recently and am trying a few things to generate traffic. I may take them off in the future if it doesn't help.
I really appreciate the comments but please be respectful.
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time in informing us,sybil.Ads or no ads.
Bad language is more disturbing to me than the ads.
Appreciation!

ings said...

The adds are placed in such a way that they don't take over your blog or hinder its contents- I honestly don't even notice them whenever I visit. Moreover, the money they generate for the blogger is insignificant... if I'm not mistaken, a couple of cents (at most) for every page visit. If the adds were added to increase the Blog's popularity, I say there is no harm. Keep up the good work, and keep those entries coming! Always very informative :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent information, but sometimes people go to sleep after taking a heavy meal which is very harmful for the stomach and also some people have not a strong digestive system!
Diet and Nutrition Advice