Last updated on Jan 19th, 2021 at 11:47 am

If you are aiming to lose some kilograms, it is generally recommended that you try not to eat after 7 p.m .

There are several theories that offer support to this suggestion:

1.    Excess calories

If people are consistent with their meal times, they will have already eaten three meals plus one or two snacks during the day, providing them with enough calories to meet their needs. People generally select unhealthy snacks and other comfort foods when eating after 7 p.m. For example most people may reach for a bag of chips or a bowl of ice cream, instead of an apple as a late night snack.

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It is also easy to consume a large portion during this time as you are not eating because you are physically hungry but because you are distracted. These extra calories will be stored as fat. If you can watch what you are eating and stay well within your calorie requirement, eating after 7 p.m may not cause much damage for you.

2.    Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

This condition is common for people who have a hiatal hernia. Seventy percent of hiatal hernias occur in people who are obese. If you have GERD and you eat and go to bed shortly afterwards, the food can be pushed into the chest cavity and cause reflux causing sleep disorders. 

People fall back on food to stay awake, thus adding more calories. For people suffering from GERD, it is advisable to wait at least two hours after eating before lying down. This will help the food digest and move away from the stomach, thus reducing the occurrences of reflux.

3.    Insulin secretion

Insulin is secreted when you consume food, regardless of the type of food you choose.

Insulin inhibits the activity of the growth hormone which is needed for tissue repair. While growth hormone promotes weight loss, insulin promotes storing of energy in the form of adipose tissue. Continuous secretion of insulin adds to fat storage and prevents the full potential of the growth hormone. It also leads to insulin resistance of cells, which in turn leads to diabetes.

If you are a night owl, it might become difficult to stay away from foods at night. Try the following rules to avoid eating too much at night:

  • Brush your teeth after dinner as this may discourage you from eating again before bedtime.

  • Drink lots of water after dinner, to help limit cravings for food .

  • Surround yourself with healthy foods. If you have ice cream in the freezer, you will eat it while watching TV. If there isnâ??t any in the freezer, odds are that you may not leave the house to go get it.

  • If you crave salt, have a serving of baked pretzels rather than regular chips.

If you choose to eat late at night, take another look at your foods and distribute your calories so youâ??ll have some calories allotted for late night snacking .



While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.