Late dinners and weight gain

helloitsiohelloitsio Posts: 1,369Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
I have a 4/10 schedule where I work 10 hours a day 4 days a week. One of those days, I work from home. Also, I carpool 2 out of the 3 days I go into the office so hitting the gym during my lunch hour is difficult. I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner once I get home (after preparing it, it's around 730 pm when I'm actually eating) and I'm concerned that the late dinner is contributing to my weight gain.

3 years ago, I weighed 120 lbs and worked out almost every day BUT wasn't eating as healthy and only ate (at least) twice a day. Now, I try to watch what I eat, brown bag it almost every day at the office, and work out for an hour at least 4 days a week. Unfortunately, I'm still 15 lbs heavier. :sad1: My SO still thinks I look great and my coworkers and sisters say I look fine and think I weigh 10 lbs less than I actually do. I know that muscle weighs more than fat and with all the strength training I do, I have notice an increase in muscle mass. However, the inches aren't coming off and I find that dresses I fit into a year ago are a little snug.

Should I just be happy with this weight since it seems to be my "healthy weight" or are the late dinners really having an effect? I have considered bringing my dinner to work but it seems a bit conplicated; also, I'd like dinner to be a time to relax with my SO and chat about our day.

Any advice is appreciated!
2 b/c :: slight protein sensitivity :: med/coarse texture :: normal porosity

Location: SoCal
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Comments

  • AmandacurlsAmandacurls Posts: 6,252Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    helloitsio wrote: »
    I have a 4/10 schedule where I work 10 hours a day 4 days a week. One of those days, I work from home. Also, I carpool 2 out of the 3 days I go into the office so hitting the gym during my lunch hour is difficult. I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner once I get home (after preparing it, it's around 730 pm when I'm actually eating) and I'm concerned that the late dinner is contributing to my weight gain.

    3 years ago, I weighed 120 lbs and worked out almost every day BUT wasn't eating as healthy and only ate (at least) twice a day. Now, I try to watch what I eat, brown bag it almost every day at the office, and work out for an hour at least 4 days a week. Unfortunately, I'm still 15 lbs heavier. :sad1: My SO still thinks I look great and my coworkers and sisters say I look fine and think I weigh 10 lbs less than I actually do. I know that muscle weighs more than fat and with all the strength training I do, I have notice an increase in muscle mass. However, the inches aren't coming off and I find that dresses I fit into a year ago are a little snug.

    Should I just be happy with this weight since it seems to be my "healthy weight" or are the late dinners really having an effect? I have considered bringing my dinner to work but it seems a bit conplicated; also, I'd like dinner to be a time to relax with my SO and chat about our day.

    Any advice is appreciated!

    I wouldn't call eating at 7:30, eating too late. I don't think it's about how late you eat, but what you eat and that you don't go straight to bed afterwards. I probably eat most nights at 8 or so because I go from work to the park to run and from there to the gym to lift. So I always eat late and I haven't noticed it effect me at all. In fact I'm lighter than I was when I would go home from work and eat and then maybe work out.

    I know it's frustrating, but muscle definitely weighs more than fat, and if you're weight training at all, you're going to look thinner but actually weigh more. It does suck, but I'd rather look like I weighed less than I do, than to look like I weigh the same or more. Make sure you're getting in your cardio and your resistance training. I read in Shape magazine (either this month or last) that if you do cardio before weights, the afterburn is longer. You may also want to try adding intervals to your workout, go hard for a minute and then back off for 2 or some variation.
  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
    My guess is that rather than the late dinners causing you not to lose weight, it's that you've hit a plateau. There are several reasons you can hit a plateau. Not eating enough is actually the one that affects me the most. It sounds counter intuitive to eat more to lose weight, but if you are not getting enough calories, your body goes into "starvation mode" and clings to everything it can. If you're working out a lot, that could very easily be the culprit - try adding a healthy snack or two for a week and see if it helps.

    Another possibility is that your body has gotten used to your workout routine. Taking a week-long break, changing up your workout, or both may help.

    One other possibility is that if your friends and co-workers look great, you are really at your ideal weight but it's not quite as small as you used to be. I don't know how old you are, but I recently realized that my "goal" weight was not realistic because my 26-year-old body is not the same as my 20-year-old body because I went through what I've heard referred to as a "second puberty." My hips are wider and my breasts are bigger than they were when I was twenty, so I will most likely not ever fit into clothes I wore when I was 20, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's just different and I'm trying to appreciate the body I have now. If you're in your early to mid twenties, it may be that your goal weight from a few years ago would not look the same on you now as it did then, because your body has changed.
  • helloitsiohelloitsio Posts: 1,369Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Thanks for the advice ladies! I definitely plan on trying to watch what I eat for dinner more. Sometimes its too easy to just throw in a pizza for dinner or eat out when I'm too tired to cook. I try to vary my workout routine. I take pilates, strength training, step, and kickboxing classes so I think I may be covered. However, you brought up a good point badgercurls, I haven't changed up my routine in over three months. I really like the classes (although I recently added Pilates to the mix) but sometimes the instructors don't change their routines as often as I'd like.

    It's hard seeing the clothes I used to fit into when I was in my early twenties. I should probably donate them. Badgercurls, I hear you on the "second puberty" thing once I hit 26 (I'm 27 now) I really felt like there was a marked difference in my metabolism and my hips and bust showed it. I'm slowly learning to appreciate my body as it is but it's hard when my sisters have the "typical" asian body frame. Both of them wear size 1-2 and weigh no more than 100-110. My older sister gave birth in September and she weighed in at 125. :sad8:
    2 b/c :: slight protein sensitivity :: med/coarse texture :: normal porosity

    Location: SoCal
    http://public.fotki.com/Helloitsio/
    http://skinandhairjunkie.wordpress.com/
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I don't think it's how late you eat but that you say you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner once you get home. You're not eating often enough for your metabolism to stay revved up - your body thinks you're starving it, so it slows down your metabolism to conserve fat stores. You need good, regular fuel every few hours for it to function properly and to keep blood sugar levels stable.
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

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  • helloitsiohelloitsio Posts: 1,369Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    auntnett wrote: »
    I don't think it's how late you eat but that you say you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner once you get home. You're not eating often enough for your metabolism to stay revved up - your body thinks you're starving it, so it slows down your metabolism to conserve fat stores. You need good, regular fuel every few hours for it to function properly and to keep blood sugar levels stable.

    I meant that I eat three times a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sorry if it came across a bit discombobulated; it was near the end of my workday and I was already spazzing out. ;-)
    2 b/c :: slight protein sensitivity :: med/coarse texture :: normal porosity

    Location: SoCal
    http://public.fotki.com/Helloitsio/
    http://skinandhairjunkie.wordpress.com/
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Still, I agree with the others that 7:30 isn't abnormally late for dinner. If that's as late as you're eating, that shouldn't be a problem.

    And muscle does weigh more, plus it's normal that you'd be a little fuller figured once fully mature, as opposed to your teens and early 20's.

    If you can't pinch too much, don't worry about it, you're fine. And quit comparing yourself to your sisters or anyone else. Their size 1-2 sounds abnormal to most of us, LOL.
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

    HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

    www.fotki.com/auntnett
  • hmkennyhmkenny Posts: 1,467Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I've been eating in the neighborhood of 6-8 for years and I have not gained weight because of it. I gained weight when I slacked off my exercise program, but I've since lost it w/WW Core and consistent exercising. I don't like to eat and then go to bed so if I'm not done by 8:00 I don't eat at all.

    As for should you be happy with the weight you are? It's hard to be happy with something you're not happy with. Start journalling your food -- everything you eat. Do it for a couple of weeks and assess whether or not you are overeating and/or not eating the right foods.
    3a/medium texture/normal porosity
  • CurlyHairedFarmerCurlyHairedFarmer Posts: 3,079Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I am going to agree with others that you aren't eating too late. Unfortunately, as women we have to realize that many of us are going to put on a certain amount of weight as we age and its harder to get rid of.

    Try changing up your workout routine and try to write down what you eat.
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  • buffiebuffie Posts: 184Registered Users
    Journaling about your exercise and what you eat is definitley a great idea. I wouldn't put so much emphasis on what you weigh as much as how your clothes fit and your overall fitness level.

    The idea that muscle weighs more than fat is incorrect. A pound is a pound regardless of whether it is a pound of feathers or a pound of sand. But a pound of sand is more dense than a pound of feathers and takes up less room. The same is true with muscle and fat. Muscle is more dense so you look slimmer. Fat is less dense and you look heavier. A fit person who is 5'3" and 135lbs (which is what I am) looks a lot thinner than someone who is out of shape and is the same height and weight. Does this make sense?

    You more than likely need to vary your workouts. Try lifting more weight/less reps for a week or two. Then light weight/more reps. Vary your cardio. And definitely don't get on the scale more than once a week. You'll make yourself insane.

    If you're concerned about eating later you may want to try eating smaller portions. You could get a plate that's smaller than your normal dinner size plate so that you are not tempted to fill up your plate. Muscle needs protein to sustain it too. So you need to make sure you're eating enough protein and not ODing on the starchy carbs.

    Hope this helps
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  • leelee28leelee28 Posts: 137Registered Users
    I am going to somewhat opposed what others are saying to you, since I have been to a nutritionist multiple times and hear the same thing.

    While you aren't eating that late (as opposed to eating at like 10), you still may be 'hurting' your weight desires. The problem with night eating is that your body is trying to shut down and prepare for sleep. When this happens, your metabolism is slowed and you don't burn what you eat, but rather, you store it.

    What are you eating for dinner? Are they mainly carbs or high fat and protein meals. Fat and protein take longer to digest, and if you aren't giving your body enough time to fully digest then you may be slowly gaining weight over time. (not that you should cut out fat or protein by any means, but keep it in mind when you eat later ... you know what I mean?

    Are you exercising in the evening? If you are, then you can pretty much scratch what I said, since even after you stop exercise, your metabolism is still revved and you'll be burning more calories than if you were are a resting BMR. That's why it's recommended to eat after you exercise - your BMR is elevated.

    I hope this helps you out!
    Also, if you are worried about night eating, you should eat more in the morning and lunch. I struggle with eating late and I learned it's because my caloric intake is REALLY low during the day, so I tend to overeat in the evening, and then I rest and go to bed... so I really just end up hurting myself. So if you can, try eating more during the day when your body is active, and this will help you eat less in the evening.

    Good luck!
    Type: 3b with a little 3a f/m mix, ii

    A "Mrs." as of June 26, 2010 :love3:
  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    The key is to make sure you go to bed 3 hours after you eat dinner...
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    Ever since the sports thread wars I have sensed a special connection between [edit] & Wile. Like the connection oil has to water. I almost can't speak of it. Wait....my eyes are misting. ~asq
    Let’s just stay together and tell the world to kiss our ass. ~P


  • leelee28leelee28 Posts: 137Registered Users
    The key is to make sure you go to bed 3 hours after you eat dinner...

    I'd say that's pretty sound advice :glasses2:
    Type: 3b with a little 3a f/m mix, ii

    A "Mrs." as of June 26, 2010 :love3:
  • BohemianRenegadeBohemianRenegade Posts: 1,078Registered Users
    Eating late at night does NOT cause weight gain. Those of you who say it does did not provide any studies or evidence, just anecdotal stories. Here is a link on BBC about a study that proves this myth is not true.

    Eating at night myth 'exploded'


    Eating late at night does not make you fat, according to a study.

    Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University in the United States carried out tests on 47 female monkeys.

    They found no link between when the animals ate and whether or not they put on weight.

    Speaking at a Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans, the scientists said claims that eating late lead to weight gain may be "an urban myth".
    Dr Judy Cameron and colleagues came across the finding almost by accident.

    Their study was originally designed to find out more about the relationship between female hormones and weight gain.


    As part of the study, they surgically removed ovaries from 19 of the 47 monkeys.

    Removing the ovaries causes levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone to drop, in much the same way as happens with the menopause.

    The scientists found that monkeys who had their ovaries removed started to eat more and put on weight.

    "The absence of these hormones resulted in a 67% jump in food intake and a 5% jump in weight in a matter of weeks," said Dr Cameron.

    They also found that levels of a hormone called leptin increased in these monkeys. Leptin is produced by fat cells and is known to influence food intake.

    Previous studies have found that many women start to put on weight during menopause. The scientists believe their findings could lead to treatments to help tackle that problem.

    Meal time
    During the study, the scientists also found the monkeys ate their food at different times of the day.

    Many ate mostly in the evenings and at night. However, perhaps unexpectedly the researchers found no link between when the animals ate and how much weight they put on.

    "Time and again, we've been told that eating late at night should be avoided because it will cause weight gain," said Dr Cameron.

    "However, there isn't a lot of research to back up this commonly held belief, which may in fact be somewhat of an urban myth.

    "In conducting this study, we noted the times that animals ate. Some of the monkeys ate most of their food during the evening and night-time hours.

    "However, weight gain and the time of day that the animals were feeding had no correlation whatsoever."

    Nigel Denby of the British Dietetic Association backed the findings.

    "The bottom line is a calorie is a calorie whenever you eat it," he told BBC News Online. "Your body doesn't really recognise what time of day it is. It is a little bit of a myth.

    "I think it dates back to when people started taking an interest in diets. People are more likely to eat fatty snacks at night when they are watching television. In order to try to avoid that, they put restrictions on when they should eat.
    "Certainly, if you need to eat after 6pm or 8pm it is probably healthier to sit down and have a meal. Otherwise, you risk grazing on fatty foods."
    Trying to find some sanity as I work on my master's in nursing...
  • leelee28leelee28 Posts: 137Registered Users
    umm ... just to play devil's advocate...


    that study is in monkeys, not humans. And while we share most of our genes, we do not share all of them.

    The truth of the matter is, your metabolism DOES slow down when you go to sleep. There's no need for it to be high and active if you are sleeping. That's just a waste of energy.
    So anything that's "left over" is not going to be metabolised like it would be if you were awake and active. Your body is going to store it for later use.

    Even though most of us will never experience a famine, our bodies have not caught up with that. We still store energy for famine, and fat is a really good way to do that, because you want to use that before you take protein from your muscles.

    If you really want some research evidence on metabolism, I'll get it to you at the end of the week. It's finals week for me and that would just be a waste of my time
    Type: 3b with a little 3a f/m mix, ii

    A "Mrs." as of June 26, 2010 :love3:
  • leelee28leelee28 Posts: 137Registered Users
    One last thing,

    As a science major, I know how to spot a valid article and a not so valid one. If you can show me this article, from a real journal, that has been peer reviewed, and tested more than once, then maybe I'd believe it.

    That's the problem with the media, people hear stuff and believe it's true without even testing the validity of the study. You have to be careful where you get your sources from... and frankly (for anyone who really cares) the BBC is not a valid or reliable source. They are a media source, they report things that people want to hear, even if it's premature.


    so yeah .... I still say don't eat late!
    Type: 3b with a little 3a f/m mix, ii

    A "Mrs." as of June 26, 2010 :love3:
  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users Curl Neophyte
    :mrgreen:
    0004.gif

    Ever since the sports thread wars I have sensed a special connection between [edit] & Wile. Like the connection oil has to water. I almost can't speak of it. Wait....my eyes are misting. ~asq
    Let’s just stay together and tell the world to kiss our ass. ~P


  • AmandacurlsAmandacurls Posts: 6,252Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    leelee

    If you're such an expert on scientific studies and nutrition, why did you post a thread asking for advice on how to lose weight. Wouldn't you already KNOW how to? Just a thought.......
  • leelee28leelee28 Posts: 137Registered Users
    I am by no means an expert, nor do I claim to be one. I struggle just like everyone else, because I too eat late, and I know that it contributes to my problems. I eat "healthy and low cal" during the day, but not enough and then overeat in the evening, when I am no longer active.

    My problem with the post from the BBC is that it criticisized those of us who say that you shouldn't eat late, saying we didn't post proof, but then tried to disprove us with an unreliable source. Therefore, there is a message being sent to people, who struggle with weight, that says you won't gain if you eat at night. You need to be careful where you get your sources from and how you promote different things! Why do diets fail? Because it has been proven over and over again that diets don't work. And yet everytime someone comes out with a "miracle" diet, everyone jumps on the bandwagon, thinking "omg this is so great!" until they stop the diet and then BAM you back to the beginning. This is the same idea. You can't believe everything you hear just because someone like the BBC endorses it. If you look at the website, they don't even reference where they obtained any article. They just mention a name at a university. Lots of people do research. But data like this is so preliminary that it's not worth believing until it has been tested, retested and tested again ... and in HUMANS!

    I know a lot about the body - I study it. I want to be a doctor. But that doesn't mean that I dont' have bad habits, or am capable of magically losing weight. (Think of it as a pulmonologist who smokes.... if he knows so much about lungs and cancer, why does he not practice what he teaches?) Same idea.
    I am just trying to help people out here, and protect them against false media without formal truth.

    Is that such a bad thing? Does that make me a bad person? I don't think so.
    Type: 3b with a little 3a f/m mix, ii

    A "Mrs." as of June 26, 2010 :love3:
  • leelee28leelee28 Posts: 137Registered Users
    .
    Type: 3b with a little 3a f/m mix, ii

    A "Mrs." as of June 26, 2010 :love3:

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