Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dispelling Nutrition Myths!

Dispelling Nutrition Myths!

I will be hosting my first nutrition workshop at The Awakening Center on Saturday, March 10th at noon, entitled "Nutrition: Separating Myth from Reality". The focus is exploring myths within the world of nutrition and together learning what the reality is behind those myths. As a kick-start for that workshop, I'd like to explore one myth today.

Myth: Don't eat after 8pm because any food eaten that late will make you fat.

The truth: This is an interesting myth because it seems to stem from an original fact that has since been twisted into a complete lie. First, food eaten late at night is not directly converted into fat purely because it is late. This is not how metabolism works. What matters is not the time of day you eat, but the balance of energy in versus energy out over a 24hour time period. For example, if at 8pm, you have only eaten (or taken in) 75% of the energy that you used during the day, your body still needs 25% more energy to be in balance. Therefore, anything eaten - regardless of the time - will actually serve to help the body fuel itself and recover from the day.

So if this is untrue, how did it get started? Some individuals prefer to use this rule because late night eating tends to be mindless eating in front of the television. This can lead to taking in a large amount of energy in a short period of time. So, from that perspective, it can help the person to meet body composition goals to stop eating after 8pm, as long as he/she is not ignoring hunger signals they may have after 8pm.

There is, however, one caveat to this. While it really doesn't matter what time you eat, it IS a good idea to refrain from eating within one hour of bedtime. Why? If you eat and then immediately try to go to sleep, your mind is busy trying to calm itself while your stomach and intestines are busy digesting. This results in less than ideal sleep for you. And studies have shown that those who do not consistently get 7-9 hours of deep sleep each night have a harder time meeting body composition goals. So, a good rule of thumb is to finish your eating with at least one hour to spare before bedtime.

I hope to see each of you on Saturday, March 10th as we discuss more nutrition myths. Please also bring your nutrition questions. Using a format that assures complete anonymity, I'll be answering those questions you always wanted to ask but were afraid to. This is also a great time to learn more about individual nutrition counseling services at The Awakening Center as well as hear about two new, exciting nutrition groups starting in April!

Be extraordinary!


Katie Davis, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN will be hosting "Nutrition: Separating Myth from Reality" on Saturday March 10, from noon - 1:30pm. For more info call Katie at (773) 929-6262 x24 or go to:


  1. The aforementioned nutrition myth is one I have continued to hear and read in various mediums. I have always been dubious about its validity. For instance, this myth does not seem generalizable to everyone, as individuals sleep schedules vary and for those individuals who stay up late it would not be advantageous to cease consuming energy around 8 pm if the individual will continue using energy for hours. Thanks for sharing, Katie!

  2. It's amazing how many people believe this - as if on the stroke of 8 (or 7, or whatever time) the body throws a switch and converts food to pure fat!