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Eating after 20:00: a Detriment? - Myth or Fact?

I can't wait to debunk the general and majority consensus of this one. How many times have you heard of, even believed yourself that if you eat after a certain time, usually before bed and somehow usually always 8PM! - "you're going to put weight on, food's going to be stored as fat."

If you're the type of person who reads on article from a science based government source, or a doctors note and you don't do your own research outside of the bureaucratic world of protocol; you're not going to grow mentally or physically. This blog isn't to be treated as the word of God, but it is here to provide you with knowledge and malleable information that counters others' opinions and sources. Answers to questions can't be answered without debating and conflicting ideas, so here I am about to challenge; 'is eating after 20:00 a detriment?'

According to The Science Times, eating after 8 is actually detrimental and can lead to "weight increase and health problems..." For such a strong statement, you'd think the whole world would not eat after a certain time in the evening right? - but of course, this isn't really entirely the case.

We're going to break this down into two examples of two different lifestyles and the effects of eating food late in the evening.

Example 1:

Lets say you're the kind of person that only has their first meal at mid-day, drinks under the minimum amount of water needed to function on a daily basis, barely sleeps and eats once a day in a massive binge towards the end of the night because you haven't had the time to eat 'all day'.

Before you understand the result of this... You've been starving all day, dehydrated and tired as well as doing a lack of physical activity. You've been depriving your body of such essential needs all day - during this, your body has been attaching itself to your fat storages, slowing down your metabolising rate due to a lack of intake of food and water and your lack of activity levels mean, poor recovery, lack of focus and energy.

Doesn't sound good right? so yes, when you stuff your face close to your sleeping time and give yourself everything you needed all day in one sitting, expect there to be repercussions at how your body reacts. The the longer you keep up the consistency of inconsistency, the harder it is going to be to break it and the effects that this causes will become pretty much long term i.e. - weight gain, lethargy, lack of focus, low energy/no energy do be active.

It's like doing a 10,000 word essay the night before it's due; we all know how that feels and we instantly regret it the next day... You may feel accomplished, but the effect lingers and is a detriment to your overall well being. Now imagine doing that, every, single, day

Now then! In that case, late night eating is not advisable... Here's the more sustainable and healthier solution as to why it is actually possible to do this correctly.

Example 2:

Do you know how many calories your body needs in order to function normally plus the extra required for how much you burn? Yes? then fantastic! Depending at what stage you're in - either cutting, bulking or maintaining. Distinguish these and you've figured how much you need to consume in a day. Do you partake in regular exercise? Also yes? Stupendous! This means you have a schedule that fits your working routine and can manage your time efficiently as well as meeting quotas of training your body. Your sleep and recovery routine is also spot on, fantastic. The most important elements of leading a healthier, fitter and stronger lifestyle!

Your nutrition is consistent and you understand what your body needs, your training is disciplined and also consistent and you also give yourself a respectable and necessary amount of recovery time - sleep.

But this blog is about eating after 20:00 Peter, aren't we going off topic? - No, we're not.

See, to understand why we believe eating after a certain time isn't a detriment you have to understand why all of these compounding factors are important. It isn't just the act of eating after a certain time, it is, should you be?

If you find yourself relating to example 2 and still have qualms about the concept of eating after 20:00 then check this - as long as you're eating within your calorie requirement, there is no detriment. You can eat your whole 3,000 calorie intake in one sitting after 20:00, split it up, eating the largest portion of your meal at 20:00 or your smallest. It doesn't matter at what time you eat if you can meet the functions before the fact!

- A car doesn't have a best time to be fuelled up right? You can do this whenever, because it's always going to need re-fuelling, you just can't take it beyond 'petrol tank full.

Round up

Be aware of your lifestyle habits and disciplines, don't rely on benign neglect, as at some point in your life, neglect will consciously turn into regret. If you feel like you fit one of the two examples above and would like to understand how to change, or how to further make improvements, please reach out!

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