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Is it bad to eat before bed?

Woman looking in the fridge at night
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Is it bad to eat before bed? It’s a controversial topic, and the common perception is that we should avoid eating late, as it could cause weight gain. This is down to the assumption that the body doesn’t have time to digest the food before sleep, meaning it could instead be stored as fat rather than used as energy.

“When sleeping, your metabolism may slow down by 10% to 15% less than during waking hours,” says registered dietitian Dr. Melissa Perst, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (opens in new tab). “To help your body digest its food, stop eating two to three hours before bed, and make sure that you have eaten enough during the day and are full and satisfied. You want to help your body rest and repair at night, so be mindful of what feels right for you.”

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