Some diet myths won’t die and eating late at night is yet another piece of advice from the rumor mill. We’re not sure where it started but you can be certain that this bro-science recommendation has no merit.
Myth 3 – You’ll get fat if you eat at night.
I remember being a young man in my early twenties, new to the gym, and hearing all the advice that would lead to the perfect body from the older, “seasoned” guys at the club. One of the “golden rules” was “don’t eat late at night or you’ll get fat” and it was not to be debated.
Thankfully, the “1990’s Fitness Rules” are a thing of the past. The last couple decades have seen great advancements in the field of fitness and fat loss. It’s now scientifically proven that eating at night does not cause excess fat, nor does it impede fat loss results. oh wait – it’s even better than that. A 2012 PubMed study demonstrates that eating at night is actually more beneficial than not eating at night!
Looking at the details of the published study, we find a test group of 16 men who lifted weights in the evening and followed that up with a 9pm recovery shake that consisted of 60g of carbohydrates (that’s a lot!) and 20g of protein. At 11:30pm, half of the group consumed another casein protein drink that had 40g of protein while the placebo group received no additional supplementation.
The group that ingested the extra casein protein had a noted increase in amino acid levels throughout the night and muscle protein synthesis – and this results in greater fat loss.
Of further interest, the participants in this study did not reduce their daily calories and had an ample supply of food throughout the day. The study clearly demonstrates that calories consumed before bed can contribute to a healthier, stronger body.
What you don’t want to do is hit the kitchen like a carb-starved pothead, devouring as many Oreo cookies and Doritos as you find. Rather you eat excess calories in the day or before bedtime, you’ll see an increase in fat stores.
Eat sensibly but don’t be afraid to indulge in a few calories before turning in for the evening. Grab a bowl of cottage cheese and yogurt for a sweet treat with some high quality casein protein. Eating before bed won’t make you fat. Eating too many calories all day long will.