This Article is From Jun 17, 2019

Besides Weight Gain, Here's How Eating Dinner Late Can Harm You

Late dinners: Working late, or just not hungry when dinner time arrives? Well, you might want to eat your meals on time. High inflammation, weight gain and memory problems are a few of the many reasons for this.

Besides Weight Gain, Here's How Eating Dinner Late Can Harm You

Eating late at night can cause significant weight gain


  • Your blood sugar fluctuates rapidly upon late meals
  • Altering your circadian clock hampers cognitive functioning
  • Eating close to sleeping causes acid reflux and other digestive issues

Is your dinner timing absurd? Not only that, but do you have a heavy dinner? It's probably not a good idea to do so. You should try to figure out your dinner between 7 pm and 7:30 pm ideally and keep your tummy light when you plan on going to bed. Eating a late dinner has got countless negatives for your body, and is certainly a must avoid. While we understand, that at times you may need the midnight boost, try not to make a habit out of it. The better your dining habits, the fewer the health problems you'll be plagued with.

Also read: This Is What Parents Should Give Their Children For Dinner As Recommended By Celeb Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar

So, here are the problems having a late dinner brings with it:

1. Higher risk of inflammation: Eating more in the evening and eating later into the day has had direct consequences in the form of inflammation in the body. Research suggests that with an increase in total calories consumed post 5 pm, there is a corresponding increase in the levels of C-Reactive protein, which is followed up by major inflammation.

2. Weight gain: The later you eat, the fat storage in your body increases. This increases your chance to be obese and moving your body clock around a bit disrupts digestion, and isn't properly able to utilise fats. This causes excessive fat retention.

Also read: Do You Eat Early Dinners? Beat Hunger Pangs With These Healthy Snacks You Can Munch On Before Bedtime

3. Blood sugar fluctuations: When you eat at night, your insulin levels fluctuate and are altered. The body's insulin sensitivity is also the lowest at night, implying that controlling blood sugar is harder to do at night. So, eating late at night, are bound to keep your sugar levels high. Avoiding high-glycemic meals is also extremely important at night.

4. Memory problems: Memory and cognitive functioning is affected when eating late at night. Its not limited to memory as well. When you tamper with your dinner timing, it affects your circadian clock and thereafter impacting brain activities like learning and focusing as well.


Having late dinners can cause memory problems
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Does Eating Late At Night Cause Weight Gain? Health Hazards Of Eating Late At Night

5. Cholesterol spike: Tampering with the same circadian clock can put you at the risk of facing sudden spikes in cholesterol. The body's metabolism loses out, and your cholesterol levels may rise.

6. Acid reflux: If you eat late, and more importantly, don't give yourself sufficient time between eating and sleeping, then acid reflux is an extremely real possibility for you. Heartache, chest pain, reflux and acidity are common follow ups to a late dinner. You must keep at least 2 hours between your dinner and sleep, to ensure that none of the food you sent down, tries to come back up the oesophagus.

Therefore, in the modern day, its extremely important that you put food before yourself in time, and then get a good night's sleep within normal hours. Being a night owl, may help you get some work done, but your body may struggle to cope.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.