I’m sure at some point in our lives, we’ve all heard someone say, “Don’t eat after 6pm because it’ll all turn to fat”. Maybe you’re the person who has said this! Well I’m here to challenge that and explain why that may simply not be the case.
Weight loss and weight gain center around one basic concept: calories in and calories out. Basically if you consume more calories than your body is burning that day, then you will inevitably gain weight. This is called being in a calorie surplus. If you burn more calories than you’re consuming in a day, then you lose weight. This is called being in a calorie deficit. One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. So knowing that, if you were to calculate that you burn 2,000 calories on an average day and eat only 1,500 consistently for a week, then you should lose one pound of fat in that week. The same concept applies for gaining weight, the only difference is that people don’t typically want to gain fat, they want to gain muscle. The process of gaining muscle is just a longer process.
Nutrition timing is also relevant when it comes to the controversial topic of “eating too late”. Topics like nutrition timing can easily be over complicated so I’ll try to keep it very straightforward. Your body doesn’t know what time it is, and it also doesn’t utilize calories differently after a certain time of day. You eat and your body takes that food and converts it to energy. Whatever energy you don’t use, your body stores as fat. Simple as that. If you eat 3,000 calories for breakfast when your body only burns 2,000 that day, it’ll store the excess calories as fat. Another example would be if your goal is to eat 2,000 calories a day but you’re super busy so you only manage to eat 700 calories by dinner time. At that point, you can still eat the remaining 1,300 calories right before bed and your body would still be in a caloric deficit so it won’t convert the energy to fat. I wouldn’t recommend eating the majority of your calories before bed because it can have uncomfortable side effects like heartburn, irregular sleep, and stomach aches.
Regardless of the time you’re eating your food, as long as your calories are not putting you in a surplus, you won’t gain weight. You can find more info on this by watching the video down below: