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Eating Late At Night: Is It Bad For You?

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Hey guys! First post! Woohoo!

I have a question that's been sitting in my head for a while. :)

basically: is eating big meals at 10 or 11 ---even midnight, or later--- bad for you, or is it ok..?

my question is just the old "is it bad to eat, then, go to sleep soon afterwards" question.

I hear it's pretty bad for your digestion and so on. What are the cons, if any, of having late dinner?

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replied March 15th, 2006
Big meals just before sleep? Well if the meal is a great variety of fruits or calorie low food then, I think you can eat as much as you want, but i'm not sure if that's a "meal" for you.

Really this has been troubling me too. I want to eat something but I never know what, and end up eating some calorie high stuff, which just leaves me with sleeping problems.
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replied March 4th, 2008
I will throw my 2 sense in here on this one. The human body has evolved over years... but the basis of our system is still the same. Many many years ago we gathered food one way or another during the day, and ate and relaxed in the evening. Our systems today will work on the same method. We digest and absorb nutrients and minerals better while sleeping... thus vitamins are better during the evening. Our body does not store more fat in the evening than in the day. Most people eat an extra meal at night cauing too much calories over all... but under control, the evening meal is actually a great way to go. Most cultures overseas like Europe eat much later in the evening. They tend to be more healthy, of course the food is more pure too. Finally, I had a issue of controlling my fasting sugar levels. I would have a level of below 140 by 8 pm, and not eat after 7. But I would always wake up between 150 and 200. My liver was pumping out sugar to compensate. Not i eat 4 regular meals a day, about 2000 calories, and the last one being around 10 pm before bed. I wake up below 120 every morning now. (and no I am not gaining weight). But I was never over weight to start with. So there you go. An over explained answer for you... I hope it helps. One last tid bit. Keep that last meal pretty controlled on the carb side. I have more protein with it and less carbs... eating fruit that late causes a lot of sugar... and since you are not active... you do not burn as much. So you may end up with a higher fasting level.
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replied May 7th, 2008
eating at night is a must if you want to properly repair your body after a long day that involves workoing out. Your body burns more calories at rest than at the gym. That is why you should have aprotein drink or protein meal before hittin the sack. no carbs or sugars or fruits just straight up protein to help build up the muscle repair process and making sure you body has enough amino acids to build them back up. so yes you must eat before bed just be careful what it is you eat!
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replied May 13th, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
DPG is correct. Your resting metabolic rate, which is to say your energy expenditure when you go to sleep/rest, is actually higher then if you were to exercise and pump up those arms and legs. Unusual yes, this is one of the unknowns that most people do not know, which is understandable so because it seems illogical. But if you may have heard a lady friend commenting about their summer or something of the sort, you may hear "all I did was sleep during the vacation and I still lost weight!", well now you know why. I account the famous "freshman 15" for this reason as well, why college students gain weight, because of poor dieting, AND the lack of sleep.

Even if you were to lets say just sit down at your chair and stare at this screen and do nothing else for a full day, you could be burning anywhere from 1000-2000 calories.

As the first two above me stated, stay away from the carbs, simple carbs at least such as fruits (fructose), dairy products (maltose), etc.

The downside of eating late? If you went to sleep soon after eating, you will have increased chances of indigestion and poor absorption. This is obvious and you may have already experienced it. The simple explanation would be that the way your gastrointestinal system works, gravity is an essential part to bringing the food into the system. The hydrochloric acid in your stomach can go into places that you may not want them to enter, thus the "heart burns".

Hope we have answered your questions.

Don't go stuffing yourself with midnight snacks now just because we said its ok =P
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replied May 16th, 2008
Wow, that's good to know! I'm pretty skinny about 170.. but I eat a lot and I sleep ALOT. Every time I'm somewhere I'm sleeping lol.. makes people wonder.

Now I have an explanation!

I love you guys Very Happy
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replied August 7th, 2008
eating late at night
though eating too late in the nigth is not a bad habit,because there are some people that do get hungry in the late nigth or even in the mid-nigth.but if u want to do that try take some thing like soft food or multivitamin and some fruit so that your body will be very okay in the morning.
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replied May 7th, 2011
Another Reason Why You Shouldn't Eat Late
Most people stop breathing once in a while at night, so if you still have stomach juices lingering, it's likely to be suctioned up into your throat, not only waking you up from light to deep sleep, but also causing inflammation and swelling in your throat, causing more obstructions. It can also go into your nose and lungs. Everyone is on a continuum, where at the extreme end, it's called obstructive sleep apnea. But you don't have to have sleep apnea and you can still stop breathing often. Most people with smaller jaws tend to sleep on their sides or stomachsâspam�these are the people who are more prone to breathing pauses and reflux. It's because there isn't enough room for the tongue for proper breathing.
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