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Almost every night, you sneak down the steps to grab a snack and cross your fingers that no one will hear the floorboards creaking. Could this the reason your weight is all over the place? Depends on who you want to believe.
Jackie Keller, founding director of Los Angeles-based healthy food company, NutriFit, says what does matter is calories you take in versus calories you burn throughout the day. This means the focus is more on how much women are chowing down and moving, instead of when they are snacking.
But Ann Kulze, M.D., founder of Just Wellness in South Carolina, says there are a few benefits to eating more calories earlier in the day instead of at night.
According to Kulze, an issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology featured a study in which Cambridge scientists followed more than 6,700 adults, ages 40 to 75, for a period of about seven years. The researchers found that although everyone gained some weight over time, people who consumed a larger share of their calories at breakfast gained less weight—possibly because these calories have a greater chance of being burned through physical activity during the day, says Kulze.
Regardless of where nutritionists fall on the debate scale, they agree on the fact that mindless eating is the real problem at stake. And, for many, the evening is when excess calorie consumption occurs.
The verdict? Use a cut-off point for eating if it helps you to curb poor eating habits, but don’t go crazy about the 7 p.m. rule. When is the latest time you eat? [DrAnnWellness & Nutrifitonline]