Late-night eating is often associated with weight gain. Some dieters set a time limit to stop eating after 7 p.m. because they fear getting fat from eating later at night. Your body is a machine that constantly burns calories. The idea you will gain weight or get fat eating after 7 p.m. is a myth, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Basal Metabolic Rate

Your body burns calories 24 hours a day. You gain weight if you eat more calories than your body needs for energy. It does not matter when you eat meals, but it does matter how many calories you eat. The number of calories your body needs to perform basic functions like heartbeat and breathing is called basal metabolic rate, or BMR, which is calculated using height, weight, gender and age. The BMR for a woman 30 years old, 65 inches tall and 135 lbs. is 1,399 calories per day. The BMR for a man 30 years old, 70 inches tall and 165 lbs. is 1,776 calories per day.

Calories in Versus Calories Out

BMR is the number of calories your body uses at rest. Daily movements like walking, talking, cooking and cleaning increase the number of calories you burn. The 30-year-old woman with a BMR of 1,399 calories burns an average of 1,850 calories per day with a somewhat active lifestyle. The 30-year-old man with a BMR of 1,776 calories burns about 2,350 calories per day with a somewhat active lifestyle. The total calories you burn in one day are a combination of BMR and calories burned from movement. As long as you eat the same number of calories your body burns for energy, you will not gain weight.

Metabolism Does Not Stop at Night

One reason many people believe they will gain weight eating after 7 p.m. is metabolism. Metabolism is the rate or speed at which your body converts food into energy. The conversion burns calories. You tend to be more active during the day, so more calories are burned. At night, activities slow down, so your body burns fewer calories. Metabolism does not stop when you fall asleep. Organs, for instance, continue to function during sleep

Consuming Food Late at Night

Eating after 7 p.m. will cause weight gain if you eat foods high in calories, especially if you have exhausted your recommended daily calorie intake. Stay away from sugary foods with a lot of calories like ice cream and cookies. Fiber-rich fruit and whole grain cereals contain healthy vitamins and nutrients, but fewer calories than sugary snacks. Wait no longer than five hours between meals to prevent hunger at night.

Bottom line is this, that this is a myth. if you eat dinner late (9 p.m.) your body will still metabolize it, even if you are sleeping, you body is working away.

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ZGF0ZV9jcmVhdGVkIjoiMjAxNi0wNS0wMyAxNTowMTowMyIsImltZ19wcmV2aWV3X3VybCI6Imh0dHBzOlwvXC9zdXBzeXN0aWMtNDJkNy5reGNkbi5jb21cL19hc3NldHNcL2Zvcm1zXC9pbWdcL3ByZXZpZXdcL3NpbXBsZS13aGl0ZS5wbmciLCJ2aWV3X2lkIjoiMTJfMjQ1NTU3Iiwidmlld19odG1sX2lkIjoiY3NwRm9ybVNoZWxsXzEyXzI0NTU1NyIsImNvbm5lY3RfaGFzaCI6ImE5YjQ4OWQ5OWNlNjRlNjU3MWY0MmE0MDg3OTZjODcyIn0=