Eat Late – Gain Weight

Ice cream

From the Dessert Room at Bern’s Restaurant in Tampa

Late night snacking
You know that urge –something sweet, maybe a bowl of ice cream, or some cake. But those late night snacks lead to more calories and if you add that ice cream daily it can lead to twenty or thirty pounds per year.

It turns out that late night snacking isn’t related to feeling full, or satiated. But it also isn’t as satisfying- at least that is the result of a study done at BYU.

Placing people into an MRI machine and examining their response to photographs of food- fruits and vegetables versus heavy desserts. Earlier in the day the researchers noticed that the subjects had  more brain activity than later.  Indicating that later in the day the brain was not as moved by food as it was earlier.This may explain why it is easier to “be good,” earlier in the day.

This could also explain why people tend to eat more at night than they do during the day – eating more calories at night because the “reward” just isn’t as much.

It may be that we don’t get the same level of reward from late night snacks, or night time eating, and hence  over indulge to compensate.

The preliminary data goes along with other data that shows the earlier in the day you stop eating; the less likely you are to gain weight.

So that ice cream I had (from Bern’s dessert room in Tampa) – I should have had it for lunch.

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and received his MD. Dr. Simpson, a renowned weight loss surgeon, is a leading advocate of culinary medicine. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit