Food Myth: Don’t Eat After a Certain Time

It’s late. I’m juggling several deadlines. This past week has seen a sharp influx in my stress levels. I know, I thought the same thing you’re thinking right now—pizza would absolutely solve this problem.

But here’s my dilemma: at the time of this writing, it’s already past 8. And 9. And 10. Y’know, just well past the acceptable social norm of when people are “allowed” to eat. What’s a stressed, hungry, spread-too-thin girl on the verge of a complete meltdown to do?

You readers are right again: I took to the internet.

As it turns out, not eating after a certain time is just a stubborn food myth. According to Andy Bellatti, a Seattle-based Registered Dietitian…

What matters is what you’re eating throughout the day. Food eaten after 7 does not magically turn to fat. This is also a ridiculous ‘tip’ for someone who goes to bed at midnight or 1 AM. This tip often ‘works’ because people end up reducing their total caloric intake.

Depending on when you go to sleep, setting an arbitrary stop time on your eating patterns isn’t doing you any favors. You’re basically just skipping a meal, at that point—especially if you’re like me and awake into the single-digits.

On the subject of skipping meals, Boston-based nutritionist and counselor, Alannah DiBona, had this to say:

If a meal is skipped, the body begins a process of metabolic slowing commonly referred to as ‘starvation mode. Additionally, surges of hormones then encourage overeating at the next meal, resulting in a higher caloric intake at the day’s end. Keeping one’s blood sugar balanced with small meals and snacks throughout the day is a much more successful approach for weight maintenance and mental alertness.

…so it looks like pizza’s back on the menu tonight. Don’t judge me.

References
10 Stubborn Food Myths That Just Won’t Die
Andy Bellatti
Alannah DiBona

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