Have you ever tried not eating after 6pm and lost weight as a result?
Do you want to know why?
It wasn’t because when you eat after 6pm it magically turns to fat.
It’s because you were eating less calories, it’s as simple as that.
If you think about it most of us eat the majority of our daily calories on an evening. Whether that’s a large evening meal, snacking on the sofa in front of the TV or supper before bed. For a lot of people it’s the only time they get a chance to eat, and when they are bored they eat more.
When you restrict your window for when you can eat by not eating after 6pm you massively reduce the likelihood of over-eating.
Your body doesn’t know what time it is, it just knows whether you are eating too many calories or not.
We each have a set point of calories we need to eat to stay the same weight. If we eat less we lose weight, and if we lose more we gain weight.
Let’s just focus on the weight gain aspect, if we eat more calories than we need, we gain weight, regardless of what time we eat them.
If we need 2000 calories to stay the same weight and eat 2500 calories before lunchtime we’ll gain weight. If we eat 2500 calories after 6pm we’ll gain weight.
The timing isn’t important, the total number of calories is.
The one thing I want you to take away from this blog is that you need to pay attention to the total number of calories over a day or even over a week, rather than getting caught up in the detail of the times that you eat.
In terms of making that work for you, follow a meal plan that fits your lifestyle, goals and allows you to feel your best.
If that’s eating 5-6 small meals spread over a day then do that. If you prefer to eat a lighter breakfast and lunch then a larger meal on the evening then go with that instead. This actually works well for a lot of people I work with because they don’t really feel as hungry during the day but enjoy being able to have a larger meal with their family on an evening. It allows a bit of normality.
Just remember that if fat loss is your goal then it’s your total calories you need to pay attention to, not what time you eat!