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12 Weeks No Diets – Week 10 – How Late Should We Stop Eating?

We’ve made it to week ten of our 12 Weeks No Diets Challenge.

This week I wanted to revisit a topic I’ve covered on the this blog before.

How Late Should We Stop Eating

Everyone has his or her own theory about when to stop eating. I’ve heard it all… “No carbs after 4pm”, “Food turns into fat after a certain hour”. All these myths are false! The truth is, our bodies run on a 24hr clock… not an eight or twelve-hour day. If you are truly physically hungry, you need to eat!

Why are these rules made?

In my article “Dieting vs. Calorie Counting” it states, “eating healthy is very important, but how much we eat is even more important”. This is the main reason why these rules are made. It’s called MINDLESS EATING. For most of us, mindless eating happens in the evening, after dinner, watching TV, when we’re bored, etc… Weight gain generally occurs when we consistently eat for reasons other than hunger (mindless eating). Think about it… we eat dinner, we’re comfortably full, definitely not hungry anymore, but somehow, we still find a way to squeeze a cup or two of ice cream in there. Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with dessert, but you have to account for it. Make it part of your meal. Not the mindless noshing that can occur after dinner.

Make your own rules!

You should know your body better than anyone! Make your own rules. I’ll use myself as an example. It took some time, but I’m happy that I’ve gotten to know my body pretty well. I know how much food is too much for me. I know how much I can eat at dinner and feel content and satisfied. I know that after each meal (including breakfast) I HAVE to have a small piece of DOVE dark chocolate. I know that if I snack too much after dinner, I will not be hungry for breakfast. I know how I will feel the next morning when I over do it at a restaurant the night before. I make it a general rule for myself not to snack or eat after dinner. If I am truly physically hungry after dinner, I will have something small to satisfy the hunger, but the lesson that I take away from that is I either didn’t eat enough for dinner, or didn’t eat enough throughout the day. With my clients, I give them a VERY LOOSE rule to stop eating two hours before they go to bed. That way they can feel hungry for breakfast the next morning.

Get to know your body! Try different things out and see what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake… that’s the best way to learn!    Know that following the rules you have made for your body are better than what any book can tell you!

If you have any questions… don’t hesitate to email me at

6 Responses

  1. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman said on March 15, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    While I don’t think nighttime calories are somehow more determined to hit the waistline than those we eat during the day, I think I have a greater tenancy to mindlessly snack at night.

  2. Danielle (Coffee Run) said on March 15, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Love these series 🙂
    I’ve heard SO many people say no carbs after 6! That just doesn’t fly in my book 😉

  3. Stef said on March 16, 2010 at 1:11 am

    getting to know your body = most important thing!

  4. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said on March 16, 2010 at 2:47 am

    I eat super late, as in 2am. It’s when i am hungry, so i eat. I dont eat that much in the morning or 1st half of my waking hours, I’m not hungry. So i dont eat, not rocket science. Just being in tune with my body 🙂

  5. lynn @ the actors diet said on March 16, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    i eat right up to right before i sleep. makes no difference!

  6. Andrea @ said on March 17, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    I love this post. It’s so true. I’ve always eaten large meals and snacks right before bed and I haven’t gained weight because of it. You’re right that it’s the amount overall that counts. Thanks for this. My family is always hounding me to stop eating late at night, but I know better.