April 23, 2009

Q. A friend told me that eating late at night causes weight gain. I work an odd schedule and am forced to eat dinner at 10 p.m. I try keeping my dinner very small, like a bowl of cereal, but I keep waking up starving in the middle of the night. What's the solution?

A. "As long as you eat the same number of calories and maintain the same activity level over a 24-hour period, it doesn't matter what time it says on the clock," says Gail Frank, Dr.P.H., R.D., a nutrition professor at California State University, Long Beach, and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Simply shift a traditional schedule by a few hours, so that you're eating your breakfast, lunch and snacks later too.