The most enjoyable thing for me is to eat in the evenings. But I’m on a diet that doesn’t allow me to eat after 6 pm. Is it OK if I eat fruits after 6 p.m. — I mean, can I gain weight because of eating fruit as an evening snack?
There isn’t any law (diet or otherwise) that says you can’t eat after 6 p.m. The calories from a banana or even a banana split aren’t used any differently by your body at 8 p.m than they are at 8 a.m. When it comes to weight control, it all boils down to this: If you’ve eaten enough calories for the day to maintain your weight, but decide to eat an extra snack, your body doesn’t care when you eat it — the surplus will be stored as fat. So, if you want a piece of fruit after dinner every night, just make sure you allot for the calories in your diet.
At the same time, I do preach the “don’t eat a lot after dinner” sermon to all who will listen. I do that because people often entertain themselves at night with what I call “noodgy” eating — munching out of boredom, tiredness, or just mindlessly eating while watching TV. Consider this: a bag of light microwave popcorn, a nighttime favorite, has around 280 calories. If you eat those extra calories every night for seven days, there will be a pound more of you on the couch in that time.
Your choice of fruit as an evening snack is a good one for two reasons. First, it’s recommended that people eat two to four servings of fruit daily. Second, fruit come in pieces, so it’s “pre-portioned” by nature: A banana, apple, or orange has fewer than 110 calories, satisfies the snacking urge, and puts a calorie cap on your nighttime eating.