Happy Monday DCD! 🙂
Today I’m gonna be busting up another food myth for you, so let’s jump right in!
Our next diet-culture myth issssssssss:
*Eating after (insert your preferred time) will make you fat*
Fake news. False. Wrong. Behave. No. STOP!
I remember the very first time a personal trainer told me this.
I was sat in the interview room of my current Virgin Active, he looked me in the eyes and said “your digestive system slows right down at night so anything in your stomach when you go to sleep will be turned to fat” and from that moment on I was terrified to eat after 6pm.
Let me just start by saying that he too was a victim of diet culture so I don’t blame him, however…
Studies have shown that: for the most of us, our metobolism does NOT change or slow down during sleep (which is exactly what my unknowingly PT was wrongly informed of when instilling that toxic belief into me 11 years ago).
Mechanically speaking, calories are calories: so no matter when or how you consume your daily calories, you NEED to eat them to function optimally.
Think of the times you might have (wether you meant to or not) restricted your intake or not eaten enough during the day and how you’ve suddenly been hit with ravenous hunger later on in the evening.
That in itself is a sign that your body/metabolism is up and running, working well and telling you MY GOSH, YOU GOTTA FEED ME! Aka keeping you alive.
It doesn’t care that it’s 1 minute past 6, 7 or 8 it still wants you to maintain your life and will do the same jobs for you regardless.
Let’s also think about how important sleep is for us specifically because that’s when all of our recovery, growth and replenishment takes place, our body is busy getting on with all that good stuff for us all night long, and where do you think it finds the energy to do that? You guessed it, from food!
So unless you as an individual don’t feel good or struggle to sleep if you eat too close to your bed time, then it’s simply a matter of- the more food, the more energy.
Yet this has been weaponised as yet another way to disorder our eating and encourage us to abandon our natural hunger cues. (Which in itself causes problems down the line).
Have you ever tried to ignore evening hunger and gone to bed on a rumbling stomach?
Sometimes the pain would even wake me up in the middle of the night, how is that ,ONE healthy? And TWO the evidence of a dormant metabolism? It’s bonkers.
So imagine my shock when 4 years, a PT qualification and a new coach later, I was being told to stick to my calories/macro count BUT that if I found myself hungry before bed, to eat some carbs to help me settle and sleep well.
M I N D B L O W N !!!!!!!!!!
This is when my mindset towards food started to shift- yes I was still eating mechanically and disorderedly for physical results but I was slowly starting to see food as NOURISHMENT.
Seeing it not just as business but fuel and eventually…pleasure!
Did you know that simply eating food requires your body to burn energy in order to convert that food INTO more energy for you?
It’s amazing and it’s far too easy to get stuck into the mindset of needing to deprive and punish our body instead of listen to and look after it.
This myth is a perfect example of that.
If you’re someone who doesn’t feel hungry until later on in the day like me, eating your first meal at the time that society deems “lunch time”, your day of eating is naturally going to fall later in order to eat enough throughout the day.
SO if we listen to these made up rules we would have to deprive ourselves just because a clock says so?
I don’t think so.
Eating is eating.
How is it a banana can be championed at 10am but suddenly demonised once the clock strikes 8?
Let’s get mechanical one last time.
Calories are calories and we all have a certain and individualamount of calories needed to fuel and maintain our bodies health and happiness.
Consistently exceeding that number will cause weight gain, eating in a mechanical and controlled deficit will result in loss, whatever the case- the TIME you consume these calories won’t make a bloody difference!
Ps one thing that can be mistaken for weight gain overnight is fluctuation in water retention as a result of eating later in the day before, but this will break down and be let go eventually as your body does it’s thing.
Ps ps the ideal goal for DCD is to reclaim power over eating and listening to our bodies initiative cues instead of following a never ending rule book.
So medical reasons excluded or unless you’re recovering from an eating disorder and need structures meal times… eat when your hungry, stop when you’re full…day or night.
And if you wish to discuss anything my inbox is always open.
See you tomorrow x