Does eating at night really make you fat?

Is nighttime snacking making you fat and miserable?

Health buzz would have you think so. One of the trendiest, soundbite-friendliest weight loss mandates out there right now is that eating before bed causes weight gain — and that the fix is to simply stop eating a few hours before bed, at 8 p.m. or so, to drop pounds.

At a glance, the idea’s got a solid-enough foundation: A spate of alarming studies have linked late-night eating before bed to poor exercise habits, higher body mass indexes and higher obesity risks.

Then, there’s the recent rise of intermittent fasting, a buzzy, celeb-favored weight-loss method (Kourtney Kardashian and Chris Hemsworth are reportedly fans). It restricts eating to a small window of time during the day, which often logically translates to squeezing mealtimes in between late morning and early evening, and limiting eating before bed.

Couple those with the many, many scientific theories about fat burning — one of which suggests that our bodies work less hard to torch fat at night — and dieters’ enduring need for a quick fix, and suddenly, padlocking the fridge after 8 p.m. seems to make a lot of sense.

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