Not Eating past Certain Time in Day

Updated on March 14, 2012
J.M. asks from Fox River Grove, IL
11 answers

My husband's coworker was placed on a diet by a doctor and was told not to eat past 3pm. He was able to eat as much as he wanted for breakfast and lunch and anything that he wanted... but could not eat past 3pm and could only have tea, black coffee or broth. I know there are a lot of "diet experts" that claim that the time you eat does not matter, that it is calories in calories out plain and simple but his success with this diet makes me wonder... he said he actually consumed MORE calories than he did prior to the diet and did not restrict himself at all... he continued to exercise in the same manner as before and the didn't use any diet drugs etc. He lost 25 pounds in a month and has kept it off. So another co-worker tried it and she, too, lost 10 pounds within a month eating around 1900 calories a day (but all before 3) and says she sleeps better and feels better eating this way now that she is used to it. I am just wondering if anyone else has ever had experience with this type of "diet?" I don't know if I could do it because I am a night eater (unfortuanately) but I have to admit it is tempting to try it out...

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answers from Lincoln on

wow! that would be really hard! i do not eat after 7pm and have a light dinner and that KILLS ME! several times i have to result to drinking water or chewing gum, just so that i dont result to late night snacking. no eating after 3 would be hard, but i suppose you could drop a bunch of weight! sucks that a man can lose more weight in one month than a woman! GRRRR... kudos to them!

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answers from New York on

it's not a diet. it's a healthy thing too. i like to have lunch being the 'heavy meal' rather the dinner. my kids get 'dinner' between 3:30 and 4. so by the time they go to bed they have only snacked on yoghurt and fruit. i was raised like that, so i just continue the habit with my children.

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answers from New York on

I wear my bodybugg to bed, yes, I know it's obsessive and a little crazy, but I burn about as many calories sleeping as I do sitting at this computer all day; it really doesn't matter. It's a matter of calories in and calories out.

Your husband's co-worker is probably eating more frequently. If you wolf down your entire calorie allowance for the day in one sitting (and it's MUCH easier than on may think. Eat a number 1 from McD's and you're pretty darned close) your body is going to store the extra calories as fat. It can only handle so much at a time. This is why people are bewildered as to why they're not losing weight.

So, in my opinion, when it comes to fad diets it's pretty much a way of disguising calorie restriction. You could live on Twinkies while laying in the bed if you wanted to and still lose weight, just as long you don't go over your BMR, which is what your body needs to operate. You also need a caloric deficit to lose weight. You have reduce your calorie in take passed your BMR by 500 to lose a pound, approximately 3500 calories, in one week.

Metabolic disorder (OMG! I have a slow, not really. You're just skinny fat and lost all your muscle mass, which burns calories) is rare. The glycemic index is crucial if you're diabetic, not if you're a garden variety individual who wants to lose weight. Weight loss is also 80% diet and 20% exercise. Also remember men lose weight faster than women. We need extra fat for growing them babies, and your body isn't keen on losing it. Men also have more muscle mass, hence faster weight loss. Muscle is alive and needs energy, fat just lays there taking up space. If you’re a heavy person to begin with your body will lose fat fast as opposed to a person who is close to their goal weight. Would you give away your last dollar?

OK. This is long enough. I can go on and on about this. You are right. It's calories in and calories out. Can it be tweaked, yes, but not by much.

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answers from St. Louis on

I can lose a ton of weight just by not eating after seven in the evening. If you eat and then go to bed your body does not burn those calories it stores them as fat so the more you burn before you sleep the less that is converted to fat.

Weight loss is calories in calories out but calories out is whether you burn them, ya know?

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answers from Los Angeles on

your digestive tract works slower in the evening and at night, therefore I would think that if you consume many things during the day when your digestive system is working at its best then it will be easier to break the food down faster than it would at night. Also if he is exercising than that helps burn off the extra calories he is consuming, it actually does not sound bad at all. I have been eating this way although on occasion I will have a later meal ( maybe 4 or 5 p.m.), I am not trying to lose weight since I'm already skinny, but I have been eating this way without really realizing it. If I ever eat at night, specially a whole meal I will feel sick and it will take me a while to be able to go to sleep, if you get hungry later have a fruit, cracker, or I like to make fruit water so I'll have a cup of that.


answers from Richmond on

I don't eat past 7pm, unless it's going to be a late night. Food is your body's energy, and it takes energy to process the food. So if you're not fueling your body before bed, you sleep better. Since your metabolism slows down when you sleep, it can't process the food properly.

That's why breakfast has it's name; you're breaking your overnight fast, since you've been fasting from eating :)



answers from Oklahoma City on

Hmmmm, our bodies are their busiest when we are sleeping, they are repairing cellular damage, fighting illness, maintaining breathing and other bodily functions, very very very busy.

I would imagine if the brain is working so hard it must be using energy and if food is not right there, still in the stomach and digestive tract then the brain would have to use the stored resources...the fat in our bodies.

That sort of makes sense. I think that sounds interesting to research.



answers from Washington DC on

There are many diets. For example, the South Beach diet has helped my DH with his blood sugar crashes. He's also lost about 25 lbs. For your one friend, if she's eating less than 2,000 calories a day, that might also be a factor in her weight loss vs just the timing.

I have heard about a woman who reversed her day. She has dinner with the family for breakfast and when they eat dinner she only has a light snack and doesn't eat much after 2 or 3PM. There's a lot of information about the "reverse diet."

I think that with any diet, you must eat a variety of food, eat your vegetables, and exercise. Even if you swap the time of day, if you eat a billion calories before 3PM and don't burn them, you'll gain weight. Exercise is not just for people on a diet. I need to do better with that myself.



answers from New York on

3pm seems very early to me, however iv definatley heard of a diets where u dont eat after 6pm



answers from Los Angeles on

You're right, it does look fishy. What I've learned is that it's the QUALITY of the calories too that is CRITICAL, not just the amount or time it's eaten. In other words, what kind of calories were consumed? Was the body being fed nutrients or just empty processed calories? The program I did allowed me to drop stubborn weight really easily and my body was totally nourished from eating nutrient-dense foods (I know this because I had so much energy, slept better, and felt so healthy!).
I don't think I'd trust this diet that is mentioned here.


answers from Dallas on

I eat 1400 calories/day but don't stop eating at any certain time. I have lost 12 pounds in the past month. So no, I don't see any point in starving myself, because 3pm is a bit early to stop eating!

Oh, I also exercise 30 minutes about 3-4 times/week.

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