There are a lot of persistent myths floating around about what you should and shouldn’t do when trying to lose weight. One of the most enduring fallacies is that you have to eat your last meal early in the evening.

In truth, your body will lose weight and fat based on how many calories you take in versus how many calories get used up. There is no time limit on when you can eat your last meal. Your body doesn’t know what time it is, so eating a meal after 6 p.m. doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t burn fat or lose weight. There’s no rule against working out after dinner either.

If you’re trying to lose weight and get leaner, it’s important to eat small meals more often through the day. The more frequent feedings help stimulate your metabolism because your body has to expend energy to digest food. Of course, you have to choose the right foods so you don’t consume an excess amount of calories, sugar or fat.

Not consuming a meal or protein drink at night will prolong the fast your body goes through during the 7 to 9 hours you’re sleeping. This could actually slow down your metabolism and impede the fat burning process.

It’s important to eat the right amount of calories along with the optimal amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats. As long as you balance out the right diet with the best exercise program, your body will still continue to lose fat, even if you eat a meal right before bedtime.

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