How to Lose Weight by Not Eating at Night

Cutting out late-night is an good way to get started on your weight loss journey. Researchers at Northwestern University found in a 2009 study that eating at night can lead to more than twice as much weigh gain as consuming the same amount of calories during the day. People who eat at night also tend to eat unhealthy food, so this makes them more likely to gain weight. Eliminating this one habit can be enough to jump start weight loss. To lose 1 pound per week, you have to cut 3,500 calories per week from your diet, or about 500 calories per day.

Things You'll Need

  • Healthy food


    • 1

      Write a food journal for a few weeks to determine how much you're eating in the evening. If you're eating snack foods like chips and soda, it will be easy for you to eliminate 500 calories a day because these foods are high in calories. Count beverages too: one soda or alcoholic drink can have 200 calories or more.

    • 2

      Stop eating a few hours before bedtime. If you have a reasonable dinner and a small snack a couple of hours later, that is usually fine. But eating large amounts of food later in the evening can make you gain weight. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who ate between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. gained 13.6 pounds over three years. Those who didn't eat at night gained only 3.7 pounds.

    • 3

      Brush and floss your teeth after dinner. Brushing and flossing signals to your brain that eating is over for the day. Keep a glass of water at your side for the evening so you're not thirsty. Similarly, chewing minty sugar-free gum can keep you from wanting to eat.

    • 4

      Change your nighttime routine. If you usually munch on snacks and watch TV, it will be really hard to keep watching TV without eating. Use that time to read, clean the house or, better yet, exercise. Changing your habits is important if you want to succeed in weight loss for the long term. Being more active in the evening can also burn more calories and help you sleep.

    • 5

      Don't keep junk food in the house. If you tend to eat unhealthy food at night, stop buying it. If you have to go to the store to buy junk food, chances are you'll settle for something you have at home. If you're truly hungry, grab something nutritious and small to keep you satisfied until bedtime, such as fruit, some veggies and dip or a yogurt.

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  • Photo Credit crunchy potato snack image by Shirley Hirst from

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