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Eating at night

There is a theory that you should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. This would imply that you should eat less at night, which isn’t strictly true. What you need to do is avoid overeating. Consuming too many carbohydrates, or any food late in the day, is the most likely cause of weight gain attributed to night time eating.

Your metabolism drops when you are sleeping, so carbs eaten late at night, just before you go to bed, are not easily digested, and much more easily stored as fat. There are several ways to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

Eating regularly has great metabolic advantages. By choosing an eating pattern and sticking to it, rather than skipping meals, will keep your metabolic rate high and therefore assist with fat loss.

To avoid overeating at meal times, you can manage your appetite by eating 5 or 6 meals per day. Eating more often may seem a strange way to avoid overeating, but by eating 5 or 6 times, you will maintain satiety between meals, and therefore eat smaller portions at meal times. If you are a very active person, you will have large energy requirements, so spreading your food intake out over the course of the day will be very beneficial.

If you do decide to eat late at night, the choice of how much to eat should be based on how well you have eaten up to dinner time. If you are well below your normal calorie intake, you can be quite flexible and eat more at night. If you have blown your calorie budget by having a Big Mac, Fries and a coke for lunch, you’ll need to limit what you eat later in the day, in order to minimize fat gain.

There is some practical advice you can follow to avoid overeating at night. Make sure you plan your meals, as if you don’t eat enough during the day, you are much more likely to be hungry at night time. If you regularly skip breakfast, are too busy for lunch or forget to snack, you leave yourself open to overeating in the evening. By planning your food for the day, and making time to eat regularly, you can fulfil your fuel needs and avoid over filling late in the day.

Showering, dressing and teeth cleaning are all considered to be good habits, and for most of us these happen on autopilot. Unfortunately, overeating at night also occurs on autopilot for many people, and this habit needs to be broken. Try using a smaller plate for your evening meal, and if there are leftovers, put them straight into the fridge – out of sight, out of mind.

The final piece of advice to avoid overeating is to ignore the belief that many of us were brought up on, which is that we should always clean our plate. Instead, try adopting a new belief – “It’s better to go in the waste, than to go around my waist.”

By training with a Personal Trainer, you will be provided with expert nutrition advice as well as help with your work outs.