Like we talked about before, in order to lose fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit. Put simply, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn on a day to day and week to week basis. So logically, if you lower your intake by 250 calories per day and maintain the same level of activity (day to day stuff like walking around, doing the shopping, hanging the washing up, as well as exercising) you would lose weight.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to sell books and magazines with catchy ideas like ‘if you eat after 1900 then you’ll get fat’, and some people fall into the trap of believing it.
In the real world, do you think that your body knows the difference between the food that it eats at 1855 and the food that it eats at 1905?
Of course it doesn’t! Under this false logic, if you missed eating your evening meal at 1800 because of traffic / being at the gym / working late / parents’ evening at school, you couldn’t eat it without immediately getting fatter!
Where the grain of truth in all this is based on peoples’ snacking habits and sedentary lifestyles.
After 1900 it’s more likely that you’re sat on the sofa than doing much else. It’s also probably the time of the evening when you might head to the sweets/treats/ cupboard because you’re a bit bored.
Therein lies the crux of the matter – being sedentary and consuming high sugar/high fat foods AS WELL as the rest of your meals in the day is a great way to limit your fat loss efforts and/or gain fat.
So what can you do about it?
Instead of completely cutting out eating in the evening, can you switch your snack of choice to be a lower calorie one such as fruit? Can you make sure that you eat enough at your evening meal so that you know your body isn’t hungry once you sit on the sofa?
When new 1-2-1 nutrition clients have their initial consultation, one of the questions is about anything that they currently do that they’re not willing to stop or give up (their non-negotiables). For some people these evening snacks are non-negotiable, but then it has to be explained to them that either their results will take longer than they want or they’ll just have to factor them in against the rest of their food intake across the week.