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Eating before bed time?

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Eating before bed time?

Postby LillyPilly » Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:07 pm

I cannot get to sleep on an empty stomach. I usually eat between 6-7 small meals a day. My last meal being something small to fill my stomach before I go to bed. I have heard that this hinders weight loss, is this true?
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Re: Eating before bed time?

Postby electrongirl » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:28 pm

I found this article that might help:


Diet Fallacy #3. EATING LATE will make you fat

It has been commonly assumed that night is the worst time to eat. The logic: night is when the body typically slows down and therefore is more prone to gain fat. Makes sense, but is it true?

There are no conclusive studies or any evidence to prove the assumption that eating late meals causes fat gain more than eating early meals.

Studies reveal that other variables such as the frequency of meals, the glycemic index of food, calorie intake and hormonal balance are the real “power brokers” in the body’s capacity to burn or gain fat.

Even so the notion that eating late causes fat gain is deep rooted. The reason: for most people, who typically eat several meals during the day, any additional meal including a late meal maybe “one too many”. The result is an overwhelming overloading effect on the body often involving fat gain. Does it mean that eating late is a bad idea? Quite the opposite. If daily food intake is planned properly and the evening meal turns to be the main meal, then eating late could be highly rewarding.

There is a substantial amount of evidence that we humans have adapted well to nightly eating. We carry the same genes of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, who were primarily busy gathering or hunting during the daily hours and eating during the nightly hours, while at rest.

Indeed, our body is biologically preprogrammed to work around the circadian clock (i.e. active during the day and relaxing at night). Our inner clock is controlled by two antagonistic autonomic nervous systems: the SNS, with its highly alert “fight or flight” state, responsible for action and reaction to stress during the day, and the PSNS, responsible for relaxation, digestion and sleep during the night. For that matter our body digests and utilizes nutrients better at night while at rest, than during the highly stressful hours of the day.

Furthermore, night is the time when growth hormone (GH) reaches a peak level. (Peak secretion during non-REM, SWS deep sleep). GH is known to be a potent muscle and bone builder and a fat burner. Late meals, if applied correctly could be most anabolic.

Note that GH actions can not be effectively finalized without the interference of insulin. Late meals, may well take advantage of max GH spike during the night, providing the nutrients required for actually facilitating GH actions, thus promoting protein synthesis in the muscle tissues and fat burning (in particular, abdominal fat).

In conclusion, do not betray your biological destiny. Don’t deny yourself from eating late meals. If you do, your body may come back with a vengeance, to reclaim what was taken away from him, often inducing chronic cravings for food at night, which may result in nocturnal bingeing. Finally, late meals often have a relaxing effect on the body, preparing you for sleep. If nothing else, late meals can help bring a happy end for a tough day.
Nikki - Aussie girl living in the USA with her soul mate. My blog: http://aus2usa.blogspot.com/

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Re: Eating before bed time?

Postby electrongirl » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:30 pm

and then another with a slightly different take:

Question:
Is it true that you should not eat after 6 p.m. or it will turn to fat?
- Jelica


Answer:
Jelica, this is a great question. You will often see generalized statements such as “stop eating after 6 p.m. or it will turn to fat” or “do cardio three times per week for 30 minutes and you will lose weight”, etc. And while these blanket statements may have some truth in them, they will not apply to everyone.

One premise behind not eating after 6 p.m. is that these calories will not get “burned” before bedtime and thus might be stored as fat. This will not apply to everyone, as some people may be very active after dinner, or others may stay up several hours after dinner. I would agree, that you should not eat after 6 p.m. if you are very inactive in the evening or if you go to bed at an early hour. Eating before bed, especially carbohydrates, will promote the storage of fat as you are inactive during sleep and your body may not actually need these calories.

If you are a very active person after dinner or if you burn the midnight oil, it can be feasible to eat something after 6 p.m. When eating late at night remember that some carbohydrates cause your blood sugar to rise and then your body releases insulin which promotes the storage of fat (if your body does not need the calories), so sticking with protein or a carbohydrate that do not raise your blood sugar would be the best choice.

Another premise behind not eating late at night is simply calorie control. For many of us, the food we have eaten throughout the day has given us the needed nutrition and anything else is excess. With the large portions and poor choices that we tend to eat, extra calories at the end of the day are simply not necessary. Fat is stored energy, anything that goes in our mouth that is not needed get stored in places that you don’t want it!

Besides answering your question, Jelica, I hope that I have shed light on the generalized statements that you will hear about fitness. There is always more to offering fitness advice than “just do this." A fitness professional needs personal history and answers to other variables to set you on the easiest and most accurate path of success.
Nikki - Aussie girl living in the USA with her soul mate. My blog: http://aus2usa.blogspot.com/

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Re: Eating before bed time?

Postby hysterical_oliver » Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:51 pm

I find if I don't eat a high protein dinner I get very hungry to the point of not being able to sleep when I get to bed. If you don't want to eat late, try having a bit more protein in your dinners, it fills you up for longer :D
14th September 2007 125kg
Current Weight 102kg
Goal Weight 60kg
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Re: Eating before bed time?

Postby LillyPilly » Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:51 am

Thanks for posting those articles Electrongirl.

I found them helpful.

I will keep on doing what has been working for me so far.

Hysterical_Oliver, I eat 100g of either chicken, fish, lamb, beef three times a week and it does fill me up longer than my non-meat days.
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