Is Eating After 8 p.m. Putting on the Pounds?

One of the great things about summer time is dinner and drinks that start in the evening and go into the night. But this pleasure may come with some drawbacks.

Are you wondering if eating late will cause you to gain weight?

The technical answer is no. Technically our metabolism is always working so it shouldn’t matter what time you eat. You are always burning calories just to breathe and pump your heart, your basal metabolic rate.

Of course the amount of calories burned will increase, the more activity that you do during each day. So even during the evening hours you are burning calories while you are eating or moving around from place to place. I’m sure that gives you a sigh of relief.

Here is how weight loss works.

You lose weight when the number of calories you consume is less than the number of calories your body burns during the day. Most of the calories are burned through your basal metabolic rate. Additionally calories are burned by your daily activities like walking, or any type of movement or exercise you do.

Your basal metabolic rate, or your BMR, is measured by looking at the number of calories your body uses to perform basic functions like heartbeat or breathing rate. It is calculated by using your height, weight, gender and age.

If you want to know your specific BMR, here is the Mifflin – St. Jeor equation that you can use to figure it out.

Mifflin – St. Jeor equation:
BMR = 10 * weight(kg) + 6.25 * height(cm) - 5 * age(y) + 5 (man)
BMR = 10 * weight(kg) + 6.25 * height(cm) - 5 * age(y) - 161 (woman)

Once you know your BMR and you add your daily activity, you have the number of calories you can burn in a day. Generally speaking for women from the ages of 30-50 who are moderately active, the suggested calorie count is about 2,000 per day.

But wait a quick minute -- before you shut down your computer and rush out for dinner and drinks with your friends for the rest of the week. It is important to remember that the amount of food, or more specifically the amount of calories that you consume, will make a difference in your weight loss or weight management goals.

So in the evening, don’t forget all the rules for weight loss and pig out at the party and summer Happy Hours.

If you are eating late and having a high-calorie meal this could cause you to gain weight because of the calories, not because of the time at which you are consuming them.

If you have skipped meals during the day you are more likely to overeat and increase the number of calories for your meal.

If you are drinking several alcoholic beverages along with your meal then this also increases your calories at the end of the day.

If you are going to eat after 8 p.m. eat light, and eat whole foods. You will sleep better and you won't gain weight!

Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Dae

This article was originally published on

Daemon JonesComment