Q:

Is it bad to eat dinner late at night?

A:

Quick Answer

Eating dinner late at night is not a problem if the foods are healthy, according to nutrition expert Shereen Lehman for About.com. A person must stay within his daily calorie limit. Eating a small snack that is packed with carbohydrates may help him sleep better at night. Late-night eating may also be associated with health problems, such as depression, diabetes, obesity or low self-esteem.

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Is it bad to eat dinner late at night?
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Full Answer

Lehman notes that carbohydrate-based meals to stack on before bedtime can include bananas, oats or cereal with milk. Cherries and milk help people sleep better at night. Spicy meals prevent sleep efforts, and heavy meals should not be consumed.

Paige Greenfield for Fox News mentions that eating late at night may be detrimental when a person is trying to lose weight, since the body burns leftover calories from the day when resting. The remaining calories of the day are transported to the liver and turns into glycogen. The glycogen converts to glucose and flows throughout the bloodstream to stabilize blood sugar levels during rest. Once the glycogen is fully expelled from the liver, the body goes into fat-burning mode, allowing a person to burn calories while sleeping.

Greenfield adds that late-night eaters consume an average of 248 more calories than people who eat during the day. People who eat late are prone to overeating and are less likely to choose healthy foods. Eating between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., while fasting for a minimum of 12 hours, is a healthy course to take when trying to burn fat when sleeping.

Learn more about Nutritional Amounts & Limits

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