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When to stop eating?

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Is there a suggested time we should stop eating for the day to maximize weight loss?

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  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,987 Member
    edited April 2022
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    What @sijomial said: XD :smiley:
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 33,000 Member
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    The ideal thing is to stop eating when you've eat the calorie level that results in a sensibly moderate weight loss rate suitable for your current size, to keep energy high, manage potential health risks from underfueling/undernutrition, and make the process sustainable enough to stick with long enough to lose the desired amount of weight.

    For most people, that's something in the 0.5-1% of current weight per week range, with a bias toward the lower end of that range . . . a strong bias if not so obese that current weight itself is an acute health risk.

    What time of day that calorie level is reached doesn't matter, except insofar as it makes the process easier to stick with, for a given individual. Time-restricted eating makes sticking with a calorie goal easier for some people, harder for others. We find out which we are by experimenting. (I'm a non-faster; I lost weight just fine without doing it.)

    Other than that, it makes no difference. It's really trendy, though, so it makes for cool conversation fodder.

    One caveat: Eating very late, then weighing in first thing in the AM, may result in a higher average scale weight than if eating stops 12-16 hours before bed. But the difference isn't fat - the thing most of us really care about, right? - it's that we haven't urinated/defecated/sweat/exhaled out as much of the waste-weight from the food and drink we most recently consumed. Personally, I care about body fat, not that stuff. YMMV.
  • LiveOnceBeHappy
    LiveOnceBeHappy Posts: 434 Member
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    Calories in, calories out. Time that that happens doesn't matter with your body and weight loss. Some people like to push those calories into a long day and eat frequently over many hours, and some people consume them in very short periods of time and quit eating for the day. Both ways work as long as you consume fewer calories than you burn.
  • glassyo
    glassyo Posts: 7,659 Member
    edited April 2022
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    When you're dead. The weight melts right off!

    :)

    But mostly what the others said. They be smart.
  • gpanda103
    gpanda103 Posts: 189 Member
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    Doesn’t matter, you can eat all of your calories at 11pm, and if it’s a deficit you will lose
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,724 Member
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    Agree with all the above, as long as you're within calorie goals, you'll lose. But I have a friend who lives by the clock and stops eating at 6:00. If I call her and it's 5:50 she'll call me back so she can eat something first. :) She swears it's what's kept her from gaining. But I bet it's exactly what @paperpudding said, it's only because she avoids the high calorie snacky choices later. AFAIK, she doesn't count calories.
  • papercut2k
    papercut2k Posts: 83 Member
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    I agree with the above. Though, I been trying out a new tactic I leave enough calories in my diary for a protein shake at night before bed then I brush my teeth. Once the teeth are cleaned, nothing is getting pass my lips until the next morning.
  • pcrozier99
    pcrozier99 Posts: 35 Member
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    What time you eat is meaningless. How much is all that matters.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 28,028 Member
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    As I prefer to eat many small meals, I stop eating right before I brush my teeth and go to bed.

    Like others said, it's the total amount of calories that is important for weight loss.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,865 Member
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    Is there a suggested time we should stop eating for the day to maximize weight loss?

    From a biological standpoint, not really...it doesn't really matter...you are burning calories 24/7. The vast majority of these kind of "rules" out there don't really have a biological effect on weight management. They are means of helping one control calories.

    I myself do not log food or calories, though I am very mindful of my nutrition and have calorie awareness...I just physically do not log them. I have rules that I more or less adhere to, and there are exceptions to those rules but so long as the exceptions don't become the norm it's no big deal.

    For example, one of my "rules" is no takeout or eating out during the week when I'm trying to cut weight. Take out or dining out is for Fridays or Saturdays and typically only a once per week kind of thing. Can someone lose weight dining out every day? Absolutely. Does it just make my life and calorie management easier if I don't? Yup. Do I allow for more leeway in maintenance? Yup. For me, this works very well and I don't have issue adhering to this...for others, it may not due to circumstance or any number of things.

    The common notion of stop eating at 6PM would never work for me...in fact, I wonder who it really works for? I can't personally fathom who is home early enough from work, etc to have dinner on the table at 6PM, but maybe that's just the particular world I live in. On a good day I'm just getting home from work or shuttling my kids around between soccer and track practices around 6PM...usually a little later. We can sometimes swing dinner around 7 or 7:30, but it's usually more like 8PM for my wife and I.
  • 33gail33
    33gail33 Posts: 1,155 Member
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    I find it easier to lose weight if I stop eating at dinner, I don't eat in the evenings. But I guess it is different for everyone, a lot of people who do intermittant fasting don't eat breakfast, I could never do that I like to eat when I get up.
    So for me having that "cut off" time at dinner helps me control my daily calorie intake.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 9,119 Member
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    The common notion of stop eating at 6PM would never work for me...in fact, I wonder who it really works for? I can't personally fathom who is home early enough from work, etc to have dinner on the table at 6PM, but maybe that's just the particular world I live in. On a good day I'm just getting home from work or shuttling my kids around between soccer and track practices around 6PM...usually a little later. We can sometimes swing dinner around 7 or 7:30, but it's usually more like 8PM for my wife and I.

    off topic I know - and I do not dispute what works for you and I do not dispute that timing, in itself, has no relevance on weight loss (said as much in my previous post) - but for many people eating dinner at 6 pm is not impossible.

    Not me - we eat dinner on average around 7:30 - 8:00 - but to many people here that seems quite late. We are the exception, not the norm

    I know my son starts works at 8, finishes at 4, is home by about 4:30.
    His wife is currently on maternity leave - they have dinner around 5:30
    even if he were the one cooking, having dinner on the table at 6 would be well within realm of easy.

    and of course retired people, those working from home, part timers who don't work full day etc etc - can have dinner as early as they want.

    so yes, I think is is just the particular world you live in that makes this seems unworkable.

  • Walkywalkerson
    Walkywalkerson Posts: 454 Member
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    33gail33 wrote: »
    I find it easier to lose weight if I stop eating at dinner, I don't eat in the evenings. But I guess it is different for everyone, a lot of people who do intermittant fasting don't eat breakfast, I could never do that I like to eat when I get up.
    So for me having that "cut off" time at dinner helps me control my daily calorie intake.

    This works for me too.
    Mindless snacking is a problem for me in the evening even if I have a filling dinner.
    So it's been better for me to draw a line after my main meal around 4pm.
    This wouldn't work for most people but it fits into my schedule.
    I lost 50 lbs doing this.
  • Anya_000
    Anya_000 Posts: 725 Member
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    For the last six weeks, I've stopped eating at 7pm. I used to snack right up to bedtime, loved to lay in bed, watch movies and eat. Then the next day eat, and snack all day. So stopping at 7pm has cut out a lot of calories for me without having to think about it. I make exceptions for nights out etc. But so far, this is helping me lose weight.
  • Kiwi2mfp
    Kiwi2mfp Posts: 166 Member
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    I try to stop eating at 7 PM simply because I want the night to digest everything. I also try to stop drinking stuff at that time because I don't like peeing all night. I am not doing this to lose more than 2 pounds a week though. Slow and steady. I did lose 15 pounds this month but almost half was the first week and most of that was likely water weight. I don't expect or want more than an 8 pound loss this next month. When I was getting ready to join the military I had to enter the DEP program and lose 16 pounds. The recruiter taught me the part on stopping eating at 7 PM. I do believe though that it really doesn't matter when you eat your calories for the day....it all counts the same. But I've already stared why I stop eating at 7 PM.
  • asellitti6523
    asellitti6523 Posts: 37 Member
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    I think this stop eating after 7 pm or whatever came about as a way for people to stop snacking on high calorie low nutrition type TV snacks in the evening after dinner.
    and for many people that is probably an easy way to cut calories

    But there is nothing magic about the time and if high calorie TV snacks are not an issue for you, it is irelevant.

    and if you are calorie counting you will soon see where you are 'wasting calories' and how you could adjust to cut down.

    Exactly. The no eating after "X"pm is simply because the average person that eats a traditional morning breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner has already eaten to maintenance at the conclusion of dinner therefore anything they eat after is surplus leading to weight gain. But if you fast and skip breakfast, have a light/moderate lunch, normal dinner, you may have some calories to play around with and still hit a deficit even having a snack/dessert a couple hours after dinner.
  • azuki84
    azuki84 Posts: 212 Member
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    stop trying to focus on the 10%. focus on the 90%- do what works for YOU.