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The Metabolism Clock

Do late evening meals cause weight gain?

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Q: Is it true that eating after 8 p.m. causes weight gain? Sometimes I work late and can't sit down for dinner before then. What do I do?

A: It doesn't matter what time of day you eat; it's how much you eat during the whole day and how much exercise you get that makes you gain or lose weight. No matter when you eat your meals, your body will store extra calories as fat. So if you come home after 8 p.m., you should still eat dinner. Just aim for a meal of protein and vegetables rather than a meal heavy in carbohydrates.

If you want to have a snack before bedtime, make sure you think about what you've already eaten that day and build your snack around that. And try not to snack while doing other things like watching television, playing video games, or using the computer—it's too easy to overeat.

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