There’s a video circulating on TikTok where a young woman calls people “fat pigs” for eating after 8pm. I’m not going to name drop this person because they don’t deserve our time and energy… but let’s talk about this whole “you can’t eat after dark” thing. we’ll see what the science says, what happens to you if/when you eat after midnight, and how you deal with people like this chick on TikTok. 

WHY SCIENCE SAYS IT’S OKAY TO EAT AFTER 8

  1. Have you ever heard the saying “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”? It means start big and make your meals smaller as the day goes on…. Is that really a smart strategy?
    • If you’re lifting weights this will not be the way to go, you want to schedule your meal times to support your workouts and if you train at the end of the day, you don’t want to eat a rice cake and a salad as a meal right before leg day. 
    • We know a calorie is a calorie and they aren’t all created equal, so to lose weight you just need to be in a deficit, right?
      • Some studies would have you believe that your metabolism slows down after a certain time of night, but ultimately it doesn’t matter as long as you are making better food choices. 
      • A calorie deficit occurs when the number of calories a person consumes in a day is smaller than the number of calories they burn. The body needs to burn a certain number of calories to perform all its functions each day.
      • Your quality of food does matter, but ultimately, at the end of the day, specifically if you are trying to lose fat, all that is required is to be eating less calories than your body needs to function in a day. That doesn’t mean slashing your calories to barely eating, that means being even a slight deficit, which can come in the way of 200 calories total LESS than what you body has to have in a day. ( We will cover deficits in depth soon)
  2. It is what and how much you eat, and how much physical activity you do during the whole day that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight. Nothing more, nothing less. 
    • Northwestern University researchers found that eating at night led to twice as much weight gain — even when total calories consumed were the same. But this research was done on mice, not humans, and the reason for the weight gain is unknown. And a single mouse study should not cause us to toss out the wealth of evidence supporting the calorie in/calorie out theory.
  3. As long as you’re within your macros for the day, fuck what the clock says, EAT. 

YOU’RE NOT A MOGWAI, YOU WON’T TURN INTO A MONSTER If YOU EAT AFTER MIDNIGHT

  1. We’re dating ourselves with that reference but Gremlins is one of the best Xmas movies ever and if you’ve never seen it, TL;DR is don’t feed the fuzzy cute mogwai after midnight or it turns into a mischievous monster. 
    • You are not a mogwai so this rule does not apply to you. 
    • Remember, your body is going to fast for the (ideally) 8-10 hours you’re asleep… if you want to have that pre-bed snack, do it. ESPECIALLY if you’re going to train in the morning. 
  2. If you are going to move big weight, you gotta eat. Let that girl have her miserable 8pm mantra where she calls people names and probably thinks that you can survive on 1200 calories a day. I bet she’s a blast at parties. 
    • Don’t let this airhead shit get to you, you’re gonna hear it often if you follow enough people in the fitness space… you have to get really good at tuning that shit out, because it doesn’t apply to you. Let the miserable fuckers be miserable, we got shit to do. You want muscles? They require food. Fork up, fam. 
    • Also remember that we all have different schedules. We all go to bed and get up at different times, so not eating passed a certain time is also archaic in that way. 

THIS IS ANOTHER “CONCEPT” CREATED BY DIET CULTURE TO MAKE YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT YOURSELF

  1. Do we demonize the diet industry a lot? Absolutely because it’s fucking terrible. 
    • This is one of the ideas they buried into our heads with way too many ads and bad pseudo-science. Calories don’t magically cost more after 8pm so don’t let it get to you too terribly much. 
    • AS LONG as you’re making solid food choices, and/or you’re in a calorie deficit, or at maintenance, or hell, bulking!? The bottom line is that time is a flat circle, and when you eat is going to VARY BY PERSON.
    • Personally, I’m not going to go to bed starving just because someone from 1982 told me I shouldn’t eat passed a certain time. Do you know what going to bed starving equals for me? Waking up starving and light headed and not ready for a workout or a run (which is my preferred time)
    • Ultimately, food is fuel, regardless of if you’re moving your body or not.

If you’re hungry, eat. And can we stop calling people “fat pigs”? Cuz that shit doesn’t feel good to hear about yourself. 

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