Dieting information usually has mixed theories. If you ask people anything about weight loss, fat reduction and dieting, a very common suggestion you’ll hear besides eating healthy and exercising is not eating after 7 pm. That’s one rule that a lot of dieters have wondered about and we’re going to examine if it’s true and if obeying it can help you lose weight.
Where did the 7 pm rule come from?
There’s been a lot of proof on both sides for and against the 7 pm rule. It originated from the idea that most people who live an active, working life generally finish work around 5 or 6, maybe work out at the gym for an hour and then get home around 7 or a bit earlier to eat dinner or supper.
That is recommended to be their last meal before a few hours after, they are ready to go to bed, around 10 or 11 pm and by that time, they are usually going to be hungry again which may have good effects on fat loss.
Theories on why it’s not good to eat after 7:
It is said that after a certain time, usually before you go to bed, the body begins to prepare for sleep and works less harder to digest food as well as slows down metabolism. If you have a full meal or anything that is hard to digest right before bed, it makes it harder for the body to burn that food before bed and during sleep which can cause extra calories to not get burned and become fat. When you don’t eat anything, it lets the body focus more on rest and anything it doesn’t have to burn, it’ll take out from fat storages.
Another theory suggests that most people who eat their last meal before 7 are usually those who have already reached their “caloric limit” for the day and anything past that is going to be excess.
Theories on why it’s ok to eat after 7:
If you look at BMR, a theory which says you can eat anything you want as long as you don’t go past the actual BMR set for your age, weight and height, you can generally eat anytime without problems.
There have been scientific studies which suggest that there is no proof that eating after 7 can impact weight.
I tested this “diet rule”:
It’s very hard to know if a theory is real or not when you have so many sources telling you different things so I began trying to apply this rule. I actually considered doing it after I asked a few certified experts in fitness about losing fat. Most of them included that 7 pm rule.
My schedule however doesn’t really allow me to apply it like that. Most days during the week, I come home around 8-10 pm and I usually workout before which means when I get home, I am very hungry and need to re-fuel.
I used to stuff myself with food but when trying this thing out, I decided to cut back, eat about 30%-50% less than I normally would. I also made sure to go to bed a little later, usually around 1 or 2 am. By that time, I was pretty hungry again, but in trying it this way, I could see if anything worked, just in different hours.
I have been doing this for about 2 weeks and my weight has dropped from almost 184 to around 180. I don’t know if this is due to me going to bed hungry, but it has been the most major change I’ve made in that time.
Other things I’ve been doing have involved eating a lot of kale, spinach and drinking more water, but that’s during the day.
Have you tried to follow this?
If you have tried following the rule of not eating after a specific time and have been going to bed hungry, have you noticed a reduction in weight? Have you also noticed anything improvements in health?
If you do it, you’ll find it’s VERY difficult to go to bed hungry:
Being hungry during the day isn’t as tough as being hungry at night. I don’t think anything related to hunger feels worse than when you’re ready to go to bed, but can’t focus on sleep because your stomach is growling. That’s the feeling I’ve had for many days.
Most of the time, I held on, but when I couldn’t take it anymore, the worst I ever did was eat a few walnuts and drink water. Since my weight didn’t go up, I don’t think walnuts did anything bad. They are low satiety foods and good for you. I think the only real bad foods you can have before bed are anything with carbs.
Not eating at night helps with cleansing:
Cleansing and not eating at night are not the same thing, but if anyone goes through a cleanse, the feeling is opposite of eating during the day and not eating at night. You feel bad during the day, but can’t wait to go to sleep because it helps you get through a lot of hours quickly.
Diets like the 3 week diet include a 1 day cleanse to help you break into the next level of weight loss but by the time you do the cleanse, it is going to be around bed time. Then by sleeping for 8 hours or so, you really “cheat” the period in which you aren’t eating and you are losing weight during that time too. Basically not eating at night makes cleansing feel shorter.
Should everyone not eat before bed?
I think the rule of not eating before bed is a good rule to follow. I think I sleep better on an empty stomach than I do on a full one and I do believe the 4 pounds I lost was also connected to it. I also don’t think this rule was invented for weight loss but more for being healthier.
If you have any medical condition that don’t allow you to try this, then do not do it. Talk to a doctor if you have questions about it.