A: I’m glad you asked this question because it’s one of the biggest misconceptions among dieters. So many people I talk to assume that whatever they eat late at night will automatically be transformed into fat because they will either be sleeping or inactive for most of the next 10 to 12 hours. The good news is that research simply doesn’t support this notion. Our bodies don’t work on timetables. Whatever you eat during the day is added to your total daily calories, regardless of whether you eat it at 7 a.m. or 10 p.m.
However, that doesn’t give you carte blanche to chow down at midnight. While it’s true that calories consumed at night are no more likely to be turned into fat than those eaten during the afternoon, the risk is that when you’re at home after a hard day’s work, you’re more likely to have larger portions of food that are high in calories. Isn’t it so much easier to reach for ice cream, chips, and other comfort foods while relaxing in front of the tube? Eating during prime-time TV hours is very common — and often done mindlessly.
The key here is to maintain your focus but not to completely deny yourself. Just think before you eat!