Monday, November 19, 2012

Eating after 8:00 P.M.

Situation: I’m very concerned about my husbands health. He has ter- rible arthritis, and his doctor has said that if he doesnt lose some weight he may need a hip replacement. We have both been trying to eat less and have lost some weight—hes lost even more than I have! But he just started a new job and is now working the night shift. I have heard that if you eat after 8:00 P.M., you’ll gain weight. Is that true? I would hate to see him gain back all the weight hes lost.

Strategies: The idea that nighttime eating leads to weight gain is common. The truth is that the time of day at which calories are con- sumed doesnt matter, so the notion that food eaten at night turns to fat quicker than food eaten during the day is false. For many peo- ple, nighttime eating is associated with mindless snacking. Those nighttime calories add up quickly and lead to weight gain. The trick for your husband is to schedule his eating in a way that fits his job and is normal. That may mean having dinner with you, then “lunch” at work at 2:00 A.M., and breakfast before going to bed when he
gets home from work. His day then becomes your night, and that means little or no eating (such as joining you for lunch). One more thing that your husband should be on the lookout for is getting enough sleep. It is not uncommon for night-shift workers to have erratic sleeping patterns and deprive themselves of much-needed rest. Sleep deprivation  can undermine  the best-intentioned weight- loss effort. By planning sensible meals on and off the job and get- ting adequate sleep, you husband should be able to have continuedweight loss  success.

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