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Old 02-22-2004, 10:53 PM   #1
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AngelB24 HB User
Eating before bed

I have heard eating late can cause weight gain, but I have also heard it doesnt matter when you consume your daily calories. Does anyone know for sure if it is bad to eat (mostly carbohydrates) before bed??

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Old 02-23-2004, 12:28 PM   #2
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Magpiezoe HB User
Re: Eating before bed

Hello, It doesn't seem to hurt me, but I think there is probably more to it than that. I do count my night-time snack in with my total cal. for the day, but I also exercise lots. I really think that if you are seditary, you can gain weight over a certain amount of time due to the natural aging process...assuming that you are taking in just enough cal. to account for the seditary life-style. If you're taking in more cal. than you are burning, of course you'll gain weight.

Old 02-23-2004, 02:51 PM   #3
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Shane S HB User
Re: Eating before bed

Whether I'm trying to gain or lose weight, I like to eat my last meal no earlier than 8PM. Part of this is that I eat every few hours and eat my second to last meal at 5 or 6. The other part of it is that the longer between dinner and breakfast, the longer the body is in a catabolic state.

If your goal is simply weight loss (any kind of weight), that's something you might want to avoid. Your body's not going to do much with those carbs while you're sleeping.

Old 02-26-2004, 03:31 PM   #4
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PiTaDeRbY HB User
Re: Eating before bed

Originally Posted by AngelB24
I have heard eating late can cause weight gain, but I have also heard it doesnt matter when you consume your daily calories. Does anyone know for sure if it is bad to eat (mostly carbohydrates) before bed??
Well.. let me tell you that eating before going to bed is bad.. the thing is that you don't get to burn all those calories consumed as you can burn them during the day.. and mostly carbohydrates, which are high in calories, and don't even think of products high in fat.. consuming meats and products with high protein leves is good before bed if you are on a weight gain diet...

Old 02-28-2004, 06:37 PM   #5
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Mitch_4444 HB User
Re: Eating before bed

As Pitaderby stated above, you can't burn those cal while you sleep therefore it is stored in your body as fat. You definately don't want to starve yourself either. By not eating every 3-4 hours your metabolism slows down. You can have a late night snack but it should be something low in cal such as veggies (carrot sticks). Some people (including me) eat protein foods because protein takes longer to be digested by the body keeping your metabolism up. Never skip breakfast! You need something to increase your metabolism when you wake up in the morning because if nothering is in your stomach over night, digestion is turned off. Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes. Mitch

Old 02-28-2004, 10:07 PM   #6
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scribbles HB User
Re: Eating before bed

If you have a "surplus" of calories, it's fine to eat a light snack before bed, if that's what you want. Contrary to what some might think, you body does not shut down when you go to sleep or when the clock hits a certain time -- your body is constantly burning fuel (fat and carbs in varying proportions), 24 hours a day. It doesn't matter when you eat, as long as you account for the calories and/or are making use of them. Weight gain occurs when you give your body more calories than it needs.

Old 02-29-2004, 12:41 PM   #7
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Re: Eating before bed

I'm not trying to start a debate about it but your brain uses more than 75% of glucose taken in by the body. When it is functioning to just maintain homeostasis it uses a lot less energy. That is the same for all the rest of the organs in your body. When there isn't food to be digested the stomach decreases function. Scientist love to use the "fight or flight" mechanism of physiology. When the body needs something, energy is used on theat function and everything else slows down. If someone is attaching you, at that instance your pulse, respiration, blood pressure, etc. all increase to supply more oxygenated blood so you have the ability to react to the situation. Its your sympathetic nervous system kicking in, on the other hand your parasympathetic nervous system decreased, so unneed function slows down such as digestion. When your sick you should sleep more so your immune system can get more energy, not energy waisted on doing normal activity. When the immune system has done its job, it too will slow down function. One of the most popular text of human physiology is by Guyton. It will explain all of this in greater detail. Mitch

Old 03-01-2004, 10:18 AM   #8
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scribbles HB User
Re: Eating before bed

A person could be bed-ridden or have what seems like the slowest waking metabolism but they would still need to eat at some point. Whether it's 9 pm or 9 am, the immutable laws of energy balance remain: Energy intake that is greater than, less than, or equal to energy output will result in weight gain, loss, or maintenance, respectively. What this means for weight control is that your total caloric intake is more important than when you eat. Of course, issues of reflux or varying digestion rates for a given meal composition can be other issues.

As a side note, there have been some studies which have reported no significant or consistent changes in energy stores with respect to sleeping after a meal, and that eating later in the evening was beneficial for preserving lean tissue.

In the end, it'll come down to whatever works for the individual in question, regardless of what the sciences show.

Old 03-05-2004, 12:55 PM   #9
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Kathrin74 HB User
Re: Eating before bed

I have been wondering about this too.

It doesn't seem to make me personally gain weight, I usually eat something before I go to bed (mostly carbs, like bread and fruit). But I am a very small eater in general.
Some people say carbs make them sleepier, I guess that one's true for me too.


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