For a long time, I’ve heard this myth…
“I don’t eat after 7 PM because I’ll gain weight”
This is only true for one reason: You’re eating in a calorie surplus.
For example, say you eat a meal for 350 calories at 11:00 AM. Later in the day, at 9:00 PM you eat that same meal. Did the calories change just because it’s later in the day? NO! After you look at your calories for the day, you see that you’re still in deficit or maintenance calories…. good job! You won’t gain weight!
Say, with that same example, you eat those meals again, but instead, you look at your total calories and see you ate 600 calories over your goal. THIS is when you could start to see weight gain. Not because of when you ate your meal, but because of a surplus.
Remember this: A calorie is a calorie! Obviously, there are healthier choices you can make, but an apple won’t change its calorie content just because its a midnight snack!
(Sources: Clark, Micheal. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2018)