With all the different diet fads from taking pills to standing on your head for 20 minutes a
day, the grapefruit diet and Atkins, there has always bee one consistent fact. Eating after
8:00pm has been researched and studied by specialist concerning the aspect of sleep and
the reality of weight loss.
The problem many people face is they forget how long it took to put on those extra 30
pounds; sometimes it could have taken five years! We forget that the weight gain didn’t
happen overnight and that weight loss does not happen either. Of course it is
understandable that we do not purposely put the weight on but the point is weight loss
will happen with patience and persistence.
Changing your lifestyle is a large part when trying to lose weight. Besides just your
mental state of being, the physical and emotional strengths also affect sticking to your
decision of weight loss. The other complications are outside sources like family and
partners and what habits they may be use to. This can be easily solved with explaining
your determination and desire to make yourself feel better and change is a positive thing
in life. Another option is continue with the same lifestyle your family is used to but only
you change how you eat, exercise, and set aside time for yourself to allow your goals to
For example, if your family consists of a partner and three children and usually does not
finish with their sports and extracurricular activities till 7:30pm, dinner isn’t eaten till
8:00pm; make it a priority for you to eat dinner when you want to. Many times when my
partner gets home from work late, I’ve already eaten dinner around 5:30pm but will sit
with him to at least hear about his day. Not every time he comes home late do I do this,
but when I know I have the will power to sit while he eats dinner, I make the effort.
The reason for not eating dinner or a snack after 8:00pm is quite simple. The body is
made up of many different types of chemicals which help digest food and sleep. Like a
car needing gas to continue to move, our bodies are scheduled like a machine. From 8:00
at night, our bodies begin to produce the chemicals of insulin and glucagons, as well as
melatonin. All these chemicals are being produced to encourage and help sleep.
By eating during the time of the production of the sleep helping chemicals, our body
doesn’t know what to do and has to switch back into producing the daytime chemicals
like cortisol, serotonin, and epinephrine. Due to this, weight gain occurs because the
body’s chemicals are not being properly used. Many times by following the body’s time
clock, as much as ten pounds can be lost!
A visual way of thinking about the concept to stop eating after 8:00pm is as a scale of
justice, with the two dishes hanging. One side is your night time chemicals while the
other side is your daytime chemicals. Around 7:00pm, your body begins to slower the
production of the daytime chemicals so this one dish will begin to rise up. While that is
occurring, the other side of the scale with another dish will begin to lower down since the
night time chemicals are beginning to be produced. Besides weight loss, the night time
chemicals also aide in fertility and conception, as an added bonus.
For more information about the different chemicals and how the body uses each, consult
a doctor or the Journals of Medicine.