If you want to lose weight, you shouldn’t eat anything after 6 p.m. – this supposed guarantee of success is still buzzing around in many people’s heads. But is there any truth in this myth?
Probably everyone who wants to lose weight knows this rule: don’t eat anything after 6 p.m. – and the kilos will disappear by themselves.
There are ardent advocates of this simple formula for success, but also vehement opponents who insist that it doesn’t matter when you eat, as long as you eat healthfully.
So who is right? Clear case: both! Because when losing weight the quantity plays a decisive role – but also the time can be a relevant factor.
If you want to lose weight, you need a calorie deficit
Losing weight only works with a daily calorie deficit. This means that you should not eat more calories than you consume.
In theory, it’s quite simple – eat less, burn more, for example by exercising, and the number on the scale goes down.
But in practice, other factors also influence weight loss success, for example time.
Because the body is adjusted to the time zone in which one lives. After sunset the program regeneration runs. Then it is unfavorable if the liver must metabolize food.
Late dinner, i.e. one to two hours after sunset, upsets the mechanisms of the day-night rhythm.
Late dinner triggers the cravings trap
The body needs between three and four hours to digest a meal. Only afterwards the hunger announces itself again – except in the night.
If one takes the last meal before 20 o’clock and goes to sleep around 23 o’clock, the entire system is adjusted to rest and regeneration – one gets thus also no hunger.
If you eat later, the liver has to do what it has to do during the day: Break down food. As a result, these metabolic processes rush into the regeneration phase.
Instead of sleeping peacefully and without hunger, the body is in a daytime rhythm in which hunger sets in again after four hours of digestion.
If you eat late anyway, you should make sure to eat easily digestible foods, no raw vegetables, no meat, rather steamed vegetables and fish.
FIT FOR FUN conclusion: What’s the truth about the myth??
Eat after 8 p.m? Yes or no? This is what FIT FOR FUN nutritionist and food editor Andra Schmidt says about it.
Each person has his own biorhythm and metabolism. Our body does not know when 6 p.m. is. So, what should you follow when you want to lose weight?
As mentioned at the beginning, the caloric deficit is what matters most. You do not necessarily have to do without certain foods. You can achieve a calorie deficit by sticking to your normal eating routine (breakfast/lunch/dinner) and incorporating a sports session on the same day – jogging, cycling, HIIT workout or strength training.
You should make sure that you eat a balanced and low-sugar diet. Proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates should be on the diet every day.
And please: Carbohydrates are also allowed after 6 p.m. – especially if you have eaten a protein-rich and rather low carb diet during the day.
It is also important to take a break of at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast the next day. The body needs the time to completely regenerate, digest and yes, break down fat as well.
That is: It does not matter at all from when to when the meal break or the meal time is over. Fasting phase is – whether from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. or from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Both are effective. It becomes even more effective if you increase the fasting phase to 14, 15 or 16 hours. There’s a reason 16:8 interval fasting is so successful.
If you eat after 6 p.m., it is best to eat steamed vegetables, fish, lean meat such as chicken, sweet potatoes or quinoa – they are easier to digest.
On the other hand, I would advise against raw food, because the body is too long busy with the digestion and can not focus on the actual regeneration.