When I first studied nutritional science, all calories were considered “equal” when it came to weight loss. The time of day you ate didn’t matter as long as you were eating the appropriate amount of calories for your goals.
But as our understanding of nutrition has evolved, we’ve learned that eating earlier in the day can be more favorable for shedding pounds, while eating later can interfere with weight loss — and for more than one reason.
For one, eating during the evening often goes hand in hand with mindless nibbling. Think of how many times you may have reached for a handful of pretzels, chips or M&Ms while watching TV or Netflix at night. Evenings can also be filled with unstructured time, which means eating may fill a “void”; if you’re bored, it’s easy to indulge in high-fat, sugary foods when you don’t have to focus on other tasks such as work or errands.
Excerpted from CNN