• 1 Trick Of A Tiny Belly:


Does Late Night Eating Really Make You Fatter?

By Rob Poulos...

Okay, this is a little twist on the common ‘eating late’ question, but can be answered in a similar fashion:

First off, if we’re talking about a late night meal that is immediately after a workout (like in our reader’s situation above), there is nothing to worry about.

The most important meal of a workout day is the post workout meal, as your body is primed to suck up every nutrient you give it so it can begin the growth and repair process…


-this meal also teaches your body to store food as glycogen in the muscles rather than as body fat.

So, eating a post workout meal late a night will actually speed up your rate of fat burning.

Now, what about a regular old meal late at night?

Well, here’s the skinny on this now age old question:

The best way to fuel your body for fat loss is to eat smaller meals more frequently.

And when this is done properly, you almost always end up eating maybe an hour or two before bedtime.

And this is OK.  (You don’t want to eat right before bed because this will usually keep you awake longer anyway as you body metabolizes the food you just ate!)

But, you do want to watch out and make sure this late night meal doesn’t include many carbohydrates.

Carbs are our fuel source, and we don’t need many of them to fuel us while we are sleeping…so…

…try and keep that hour or two before bed meal higher on the protein/healthy fat side of things.

What I usually do is mix up some Prograde Protein for the wife and I, along with some ice cold water and 1/2 cup of frozen berries.

This stuff is delicious and you’ll love it too.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this late night meal must be part of your overall daily caloric intake.

In other words, it can’t be an “added on” meal just because you’re hungry late at night.

Any surplus of calories will end up stored as fat, so as long as your late night meal is higher in protein & heathy fats vs. carbs, and one of your regularly scheduled meals or snacks, you are good to go.

Also know that not eating for 4 hours or so before bed can actually make it harder for you to build or even maintain fat burning lean muscle mass…so eating before bed (when done properly as described above) is actually one of the best things you could do for overall fat loss.

Alright, we’ll talk soon…

Here’s to getting lean, strong, and healthy for life,

P.S. Got any other late-night fat burning snacking faves?  Share ’em with us in the comments below!

About Rob Poulos

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68 Comments Add yours

  1. DocHoc

    To satisfy and not add many calories, I choose string cheese for a late night snack.

  2. roxie

    you make it sounds so easy

  3. Lesly

    Love this program and have been doing well for two weeks so far EXCEPT….
    This is STILL my area of weakness, that is, eating late at night and something totally fattening. I feel absolutely FAMISHED in the evenings even when I eat enough and healthy during the day.

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Lesly glad FBF is working well for you… It’s not all bad to eat fat in the evening… in fact a handful or raw nuts a hour or two before bed can help stimulate growth hormone for better fat utilization… it has to be in the scope of your overall meal/cal plan of course… but there is no reason why you need to starve in the 3-4 hours after dinner before bed.

    • Diana Hoffman

      I prefer Creo Mundi’s protein drink. It’s delicious, fat free, gluten free and has less than 1g of sugar. It really satisfies the cravings too! Yummm. It comes in Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry/banana flavors.

  4. Jodie

    Thanks so much for a solution to one of my most difficult food-control issues!

    The only other problem I have to conquer –and it messed me up ROYALLY a week ago!– is the “day-off” control: Somehow, after 2 “anything goes” meals, it’s supremely hard to get myself back into the program. Maybe I shouldn’t ever take a real “cheat day”!

    • Kirsten

      Hi there. Just to contribute … i know how you feel. When I first started the program I was having a similar problem.
      Now what I do is simply save my “cheating” until my very last meal of the day. I usually have a small dinner with some lean protein and veges (usually stirfry because that’s my favourite) and then I just let myself eat whatever rubbishIi want to until I feel stuffed! Then I literally can’t eat any more and I go to bed a couple of hours later – totally satisfied for another week! See how you go with that.

      • Steve

        I like a little something sweet to the taste about 30 minutes before bed. I use to eat all sorts of garbage which was not helping … however, I did find that Greek Yogurt has a fair amount of protein and “if you watch your labels” you can get it with very low sugar count … but it satisfies the sweet tooth desire and holds me over until the morning.

      • james

        Kristen, If that’s working for you, then fantastic!! But the “eating until your stuffed” part goes against every program i’ve ever heard of. No matter..That WAS good food for thought

  5. Glenda Norman

    Hi Rob, Can’t wait to get started with FBF but find it difficult to do exercises that you have outlined. I am a 55 year old female, and do not want to go to the gym. Can you please suggest some exercises that are reasonably easy for an “overweight oldie.”

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Glenda, in FBF you’ll find a body weight routine… in addition… you may want to check out our blog post on the fastest fat loss workout ever here… good luck!

  6. Shane from Australia

    ALMONDS!!! I swear by them Rob! Just have about 10-20 almonds before bed to keep you lean. They’re loaded with protein,heaps of fibre and some of the greatest fats known to mankind. Oh yeah & they taste awesome!

  7. Dave

    What happens if your schedule dictates you eating at this time. I typically get to eat lunch around noon, however with my work and kids schedule I dont usually get to sit down to dinner till 8 or 9 pm. While eating something small is good for me, it is hardly satisfying with such a large gap between meals. I usually snack around 5 on my way home from work on my 2 hr ride. but that just holds me over till dinner. Any suggestions?

    • Rob Poulos

      Try and eat something every couple hours if you are forced to only get small amounts at meals/snacks so that by the time dinner rolls around at 8 or 9 you are not starved… this is a big point and reason why waiting too long between eating can cause you to gorge at night…

  8. Nicole

    Rob, I am following Isabel De Los Rio’s DSP for my meal plan. I cut out half of the 2 daytime snacks so that I can have a snack at night because I just can’t live without a night time snack. I usually have a piece of fruit (pear, apple, pomegranate, etc) and 1 oz of raw nuts. Lately I have been all about raw (unroasted, unsalted) peanuts in the shell. I am thinking that this is ok but not sure… what do you think??

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Nicole, this will work… just go easy on the fruit this late at night…

  9. Kiki

    Often in the evenings I whip up a ‘smoothie’ from just 1 cup berries, 1 cup skim milk and a bit of cinnamon… is this good nutrition-wise, Rob?

    • Rob Poulos

      hey kiki.. I would substitute the milk for water and add a scoop of high quality protein powder instead for a much better nutrient profile…

  10. lamis

    hey rob, i am very excited to start the fbf plan i already set up a place for working out and all.. but i have a question: when is the best time to work out?? everyone says a different thing its confusing!
    i really wanna be able to workout in the morning before college but i never wake up that early.. i always hit the snooze button and only wake up for my class.. and i get a bit lazy after i get back home in the afternoon :- /
    is there anything i can do? or a different time to workout in?
    i appreciate ur time

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Lamis, best time to workout is when you naturally have the most energy… the whole morning workouts are better idea is not supported enough… the main thing is to not workout closer than 3-4 hours before bed as you may find it hard to get to sleep.

  11. Claire

    Hi, I am a partial paraplegic and have found your program great as I can do a lot of the workouts etc even despite my limited mobility. My question is, I have been trying to find a protein powder that I can get in Australia, as food products cannot be imported, I found this product at http://www.vitaminwarehouse.com.au/product/815/Horleys/ICE-Whey-Swiss-Chocolate-Flavour.html and was wondering if you could give it a look for me, is it any good?
    I find gaining muscle and losing fat difficult as about 40% of the muscles in my body are paralysed, but as I walk a bit I don’t want to be carrying around extra weight!
    Thanks for your time

  12. Amanda

    Hi Rob, I live in South Africa and do not have access to ProGrade. Can you suggest any other products?

    • Adrian

      I also live in South Africa. What is a good alternative Rob? I am currently using USN 100% whey protein, Not sure if this is the ideal alternative

  13. Sofia

    Hi Rob,

    I’ve only been a few weeks into the program and I find it very interesting and DOABLE! (unlike other programs I’ve tried). Nevertheless I find I have a hard time feeding my self in small amounts all the time. Since I started I’ve been more and more hungry. I’ve been looking at quantities so its no problem but I realize I spend a lot of time always eating something… Sort of weird when I’m trying to diet.

    I have several questions though: 1)Before I go to bed I end up drinking a glass of skim milk and it satisfies me a lot, but I just noticed that I’m eating more protein than usual because is what satisfies me the most! is it OK? You seem to prefer to put aside milk for protein powder how’s so? I’m really into natural things as much as I can.
    2) Do you have any tips to reduce the amount of time one needs to invest when organizing meals? I mean, I dont know about you but if you consider the buying of groceries, cooking, packing and having variety is hard to do much else you know?

    Thanx in advance!

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Sofia, the skim milk is ok, but if you look at the nutrient breakdown it actually has just as many if not more carbs than protein, and most of that is sugars… I would try a whey or egg protein powder mixed with cold water instead for better results. Regarding grocery planning, like anything else it will be a bit of work at first but you’ll have it down as a routine in a couple weeks… good luck!

      • muffin

        Hey, Rob, the lactose in milk is not to worry about; I went to an 8 hour class on bariatrics with a female MD, and the sugars in milk do not cause an increase in insulin surge, or glucose surge. Some people may want to use a whole food, versus a processed powder at night, or anytime. Maybe they’d get more protein out of strained, regular plain, unsweetened yogurt, or Greek yogurt. Also, some people need a little more carbs if they have a low serotonin, and also find it hard to fall assleep. It is wise to have a few more carbs in the evening, with milk, or turkey (tryptophan) to help the body utilize more sleep inducing foods, and increase serotonin. Sometimes, the weight is fine with a balanced protein, carb, fat program, but the ‘feel’ good neurotransmitters become a bit too low in certain individuals. This is such an individual issue, and what works best for one, is not always the case for all. Thanks for reading my two cents worth.

  14. Jean

    I have a question about the whey protien thing. i only exercise three times a week. Do I only drink this mixture on the days I exercise or everyday? Also on the container it says to drink after exercise. You suggested first thing when you get up. Help. Thanks

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey jean, whey protein can be used as a snack or meal replacement (if a meal replacement I would add a handful of frozen berries)… it can be eaten whenever you like, but studies show it can boost fat loss most right after waking… a couple hours prior to bedtime and before/after a workout (within 30 min or so)

    • Hi Jean, Rob is right about taking it right as you wake up. Do that every day, then on the days you work out take it right after your workout, so twice a day. Make sure you are taking a high quality protein powder. Look for cross flow micro-filtered isolate with a high leucine to isoleucine, valine ratio. I know Rob recommends a certain product. I recommend Global Formulas BioPro because it has a 3:1 ratio as well as CTF(chelated technology formula). This CTF molecularly bonds glutamine and branched chain amino acids to magnesium so you get 100 percent absorption into the bloodstream and muscles. Normally the absorption rate is much lower (20% for glutamine and 65% for protein) because the intestines absorb it all before it reaches the bloodstream.

  15. Bobo

    Hey Rob! I’m a fairly fit 66 male, whose carrying around about 25 exra lbs (5’11”, 225), even though I work out three or four times a week (half hour cardio and move some iron around). My wife’s in the wine business (oops), and I’ve gotten into a regular habit of supplementing dinners with fermented grapes. I just got diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic. Glucose off the charts. I need help with diet, and exercise plan. I haven’t met with a counselor yet, but wondered if you could give me some general guidelines as to food groups to avoid, specific exercises, etc. I’m prepared to give up the wine. I know I need to lose 25 or 30 lbs as quickly as possible in an effort to get the glucose under control.

    • Hi Bob,
      I am almost 60 and in the best shape of my life due to sites such as this one so much good info these days. Anyway I have lost 10kg in the last 3 months and 90% of it has been body fat. This has worked for me not sure for you but you can try, after all we are all so different. So here goes, I now only have grains such as multi grain bread, past, brown rice and dariy products either just before say 30min to 60min before my workout or just after my workout these are the two anabolic windows where the body uses the carbs etc and hopefully not store them as fat. So as an example I wake up have a banana or some fruit with handful of walnuts, a cup of black coffee no sugar then say 30 mins later breakfast eg; two medium boiled eggs, some turkey breast some grilled tomatoe, muschrooms, capscium and little bit of baked beans. then within say 30 mins off to gym. Once back I have some brown rice with vegies and some protein sort of stewed up. During the day I have another piece of fruit or so always with some nuts perhaps a few almonds then its salmon and vegies, and finally at night say a lean steak with salad that is sort of it. Hope it helps

  16. Patti LeClair

    Spoonful of peanut butter.

  17. Arnold

    I believe Rob’s comments about late night eating belies how the body works. Major body activities, like eating and sleeping require a blood supply. If one is going to embark on eating late night meals, especially bigtime protein, fat and/or carb meals, the digestive function requires a blood supply to function properly. If so, what is left for the sleep function? The body spends the better part of the afternoon and evening powering down for sleep. When one decides on late-night eating instead of sleeping, both functions are competing for the same blood supply to function properly. The result is that neither do a very good job. The meal is not often digested properly, resulting in heartburn and/or stomach upset overnight and poor sleep quality. The next day will show the consequences of the previous night’s indiscretions: Drowsiness, listlessness and a lack of productivity. Conclusion: Eat early evening and eat light!

    • Rob Poulos

      Arnold, the meal we recommend at night is more of snack and not more than 100-200 cals…

  18. Ron

    I’ll be making an adjustment to my late evening snack and pull away from carbs. I’m in the 4th week of the program and doing great. Eating balanced meals/snacks every 3 hours or so and drinking tons of water has almost completely eliminated my once voracious sweet tooth cravings. I feel fantastic. I didn’t weigh or measure myself when starting but the mirror shows the progress. Need a belt for my comfy pants and my tight pants are now comfy. Beginning to show better muscle definition.

    ROB –

    I work out in the morning to insure it happens since in the evenings I’ve got life and kids to deal with. I work out on an empty stomach drinking water and then right after have the proper breakfast as prescribed for post work-out. Any issues regarding working out 1st thing in the AM on an empty stomach?

  19. Csm

    I am having a hard time. My favorite meal time is right before I go to bed. I am one of those that crave carbs including Chili, Cheese, Pizza, pasta, hotdogs, fried chicken, ect… I kind of become attached to Garbage Plates here in Rochester NY. It is my favorite late night meal. I turn whatever I have in the kitchen into a Garbage plate. Garbage plates are a Nick Tahou creation http://www.garbageplate.com/. After drinking about 6 or 7 beers at night, I crave the plate. I do this on a regular basis and I am only about 50 or 60 lbs over weight. I really don’t like ice cream or sweet stuff. So I probably will note try this berry drink.

    • Aveeda

      good grief! 6 or 7 beers a night? you might want to check out AA. and to top this off with a plate of the foods you described? heart attack waiting to happen! You would be further ahead hust having a bowl of ice cream!

  20. Art B.

    Any ideas for snacks for those of us that are diabetic?

  21. Lisa Moore

    I like to have some plain greek yogurt with a little blue agave syrup. Admittedly I eat the regular plain versus the non-fat. It’s my “treat.” It takes care of any sweet cravings and doesn’t cause me to feel too stimulated before sleeping.

    • Rob Poulos

      Hey Lisa, thanks for sharing… you may want to nix the agave for some fresh berries and give that a try… more fiber, less sugar

  22. Anna

    I like to sometimes have 1 TBS of natural peanut butter and 1/4 a cup of plain greek yogurt as an evening snack.

  23. Sandey

    How long is protein powder good for?

  24. MARY LOU

    Best late night snack I’ve found is Plain Yogurt (I like Brown Cow Cream Top) and Real Grade B Maple Syrup. For even more decadence, add a splash of organic cream…amazingly balancing, satisfying and so delicious you will ask why no one ever told you about this before…this is one of those synergistic combinations that meets with a whole new taste that will knock your socks off! Easy, quick and perfect for before bed.

  25. Jan Eisler

    is this protein powder gluten free????

  26. brad

    i often mix one scoop of greens or just blend some spinach with bit of milk and cayanne and occasionally i throw a clove of garlic in and when i wake up im 1-2lbs lighter oh and honey
    search all those ingredients out idivdually for fatburning foods you will see i like ! epic

    • arshad

      Hello Brad,
      I am aloot impressed after reading your stated recipe. Kindly can I know more about it, just like how much shall me have to take it? are there any other thing blended with it? and how long can we continue with it?.

  27. Judy schroeder

    Hi, I really need to lose wait but as for the exercise, well, I am disabled, have had 5 back surgeries (still in lots of pain), have just had shoulder surgery, and have other problems also. Rob what kind of excersise can i do??? Also what if i don’t like veggies? what can i do for eating to lose weight??????

  28. Debbie Waldman

    If I’m not hungry at bedtime because I’m still satisfied from dinner, I eat nothing. But if I am, I give myself a choice of one of the following: 1 egg any style, usually hard-boiled; cucumber slices by the dozen if necessary; 2 tablespoons of canned salmon; a quarter cup of peanuts or almonds; 2 ounces of turkey or chicken; or a protein-powder smoothie made of equal parts plain soy milk and seltzer water, protein powder, 1/2 cup frozen berries, and sweetened with a little stevia.

  29. G Lo

    I heard today on my news channel from a health nut that its okay to have a whey protein shake with some 1% cottage cheese, non fat plain greek yogurt and even can add some healthy fats to it such as almond butter, etc. He said the protein will help repair your muscles as you sleep.

  30. Natasha

    Which is the best protein powder to use out of Whey and hemp? I live in the UK, do you know which the best brands are to choose from? Ive been researching and found Pulsin and Solgar sound good, but do not want to buy something that isn’t going to work or do my body any good!

    Many thanks in advance

  31. Andrea

    A lot of the info on eating more meals each day contradicts info on intermittent fasting, which it seems is backed by a good bit of research as being great for health and weight loss. Any comments on this?

    • Rob Poulos

      Intermittent fasting is great, but it is intermittent! Most of the studies show good results using this once or twice per week at most. The rest of the time, eating smaller portions more frequently works for us.

  32. funmi

    thanks, Rob, i live in Nigeria, and it is actually difficult to snack before bedtime, because all our food are carbs based, but i try to just eat only veggies before bed, i will actually need help on what i can do to help my sweet mouth. thank you.

  33. kate

    Are olives a good choice for a late night snack? Green, black, does it matter?

    And, per comments above, it’s not better to have a little something in your stomach before exercising? I thought that was rule of thumb….I grab 1/3 of a protein bar before leaving for the gym in the morning to eat in the car.

  34. Fabian

    Hey rob just wanted to ask instead of frozen raspberries for the smoothie can I have strawberries instead?

  35. Jelila

    i find whole grains really satisfying! since i changed to 5 grain bread, delicious, with sunflower seeds on top, and red or brown rice, i find snacking on these totally filling and satisfying for a long time. for breakfast, I slowly eat a couple of slices of wholegrain bread, lightly toasted, and for meals, have replaced potatoes or white carbs with red or brown rice. i have given up butter and jam and now i really enjoy the taste and satisfaction of the grains! :)

    i find, pizza and white bread are just like throwing paper on the fire – immediately burn away! whole grains is more like putting a slow burning log on the fire – sustains for much longer!

    I eat a little salmon, tuna, lots veggies and salads. love sashimi, buckwheat noodles.

    I’ve given up cake :( but if i really fancy some i get a raw food choc truffle.

  36. Romana

    Hi Rob,I live in Nigeria and with the type of foods available its hard to diet and stick to it. I normally jog in the mornings for about 25mins or do some stair climbing using my staircase and do some rope jumping(usually abt 30mins). I usually snack on garden egg(similar to the egg plant),boiled egg,nuts or akara(peeled,blended and fried beans in d shape of small balls). I have lost 5kg in the last 6weeks.Would welcome any other tips. Thanks.

  37. Rob

    Is frozen berries a carbohydrate?

  38. Lefty

    I love making a snack with no sugar Plain Kiefer, 0% fat Plain Fage Greek Yogurt, scoop of chocolate protein powder, dollup of pureed fresh strawberry, topped with chopped raw almonds.
    Yummy! Going to make me some now!

  39. Steve

    Hey Rob, I have 1 cup of coffee w/half & half, and a tsp of xylitol, in the morning. I just can’t seem to kick my coffee habit… I need to have it! Is this a detriment to a fat loss routine?

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