Busy schedules can often throw your meal times completely out of sync so a late-night dinner is sometimes on the cards. This has been especially true for the bariatric cookery crew here for the last week – too many late nights watching the World Cup football matches into the early hours!
We’re often told not to go to bed on a full stomach and that it matters what time you eat just as much as what you eat. Is this true?
WLS patients are encouraged to eat regular, controlled and bariatric-balanced meals for good weight-loss but when a crazy schedule dictates otherwise does it matter?
Well the good news is that calories can’t tell the time. This is a myth that has no factual basis. You will consume the same number of calories whether you eat them earlier or later in the day, and your body will digest those calories in exactly the same way.
That said, late-night meals can lead to overeating. This is because you may have a tendency to eat more if you become over-hungry. Choices can easily become out of control if you feel ravenous. But do remember it’s the food quantity and calories that makes the difference not the fact that you are eating just before bedtime. So if you need to eat later at night, plan your meals ahead of time and don’t eat more than you have intended.
Another side effect might be that if you eat late you might still be full the next morning and as a consequence decide to skip breakfast. This may mean that by the time lunch comes around you’re literally starving and may well over-eat at this meal. A poor routine can develop and a vicious cycle of under and over eating become the norm. The advice here is to have a relatively light breakfast if you wake up still feeling full – it will help to stabilise your hunger for the rest of the day.
So the bottom line is that you’ll consume the same amount of calories whenever you decide to eat – yet when some people eat late at night, they’re more likely to over-eat and skip breakfast the next day. Keep that in mind and plan your meals ahead seems to be the best solution.