Q: Is it true that eating too late at night can make you gain weight?
I've been told to avoid any snacking after 8 p.m. because whatever I eat will
turn directly into fat.
A: "This is a myth," says Barbara Rolls, PhD, a professor of
nutrition at Penn State University and author of The Volumetrics Eating
Plan. "In a large survey of 1,800 Americans, there was no association
between the extent of evening eating and weight change over a 10-year
In another study, she says, overweight women who ate 70% of their calories
either before noon or after 7:30 in the evening had no difference in their
amount of body fat. So this notion, which a surprising number of people believe
to be an easy weight-loss fix, is FALSE. You don't have to put a padlock on the
fridge just because the sun went down.
Rather than watching the clock, focus on your food choices. "It's what you
eat, not when you eat it," says Rolls. The only exception: There's a pretty
strong consensus that you shouldn't skip breakfast when trying to lose weight
-- or ever, really.
Fill your menu with what Rolls calls "low-calorie-dense" foods, such as
fruits, vegetables, soups, and other choices that pack minimal calories per