ask our dietitian your question todayis eating before bed time bad (2)

question-answer-color-v-2 I work 12 or more hours for each of my shifts and often do not get an adequate break to eat, while at work. I do try to find time to fit in lunch and some snacks, but often not dinner. I work midnight shift, and usually I eat dinner around 9 a.m., and then go to bed at 10 am. I tend to stay between 1200 and 1500 calories a day, but my weight loss has plateaued. Is eating before I sleep sabotaging my weight loss? Or does it not matter since I am staying within my calorie limits? – Tara M.


Given your extended night shift, eating after you get off work is certainly a sensible option.

If you’re eating a larger meal toward the middle of your shift (your “lunch”), and snacks aren’t an option, then a meal after work is what you have to do.

So the answer is NO, eating before your go to sleep, cannot in and of itself sabotage your weight loss.

It would only sabotage your weight loss if it puts you over your daily caloric goal, comprises over 1/3 of your total Calories (400-500 Calories), or is made of predominately refined flour products.

For tips on dealing with weight loss plateaus CLICK HERE.

Though you are focusing on Calories, attention to food choices is as important.  When time is short, people unintentionally omit food that’s time-intensive to chew, such as fresh fruit, salads and corn on the cob. Instead, they grab protein bars, sweetened yogurt cups and energy drinks. If you only have 5 minutes to eat, try a pre-cut apple with peanut butter already in a condiment cup. Also, try out a low-sodium vegetable juice; this way you can simply drink your veggies.

CLICK THIS to read our answer to another night shift question.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition? Ask our dietitian by submitting your question to or simply ask it in the COMMENTS section below.

To learn how to follow the “Ask Our Dietitian” Q&A CLICK HERE!

Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.



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