I was recently looking at old photographs of myself from 4 to 5 years ago, when I was about 23 or so. While I've never had a serious weight problem (aside from the freshman 15), I noticed that in the photos of younger me, I was demonstrably chubbier than I am now, perhaps by as much as 15 pounds. I got to thinking of how my prior habits of late-night snacking probably did a lot to contribute to the extra poundage. But in the last three years or so, I've probably dropped about 10 pounds altogther. I suspect this is largely because I don't eat after 8 pm (well, sometimes I'll have a glass of red wine, but that's an indulgence I must allow myself). I make certain that 8 pm is my cutoff time because that's when I brush and floss. Because I have a few gingival problems, it's absolutely crucial that I make sure I have a good dental hygiene routine, and I'm not at all tempted to eat once my teeth and gums are squeaky clean. So this has not only resulted in fewer visits to the dentist, it's also resulted in a trimmer waistline and generally better eating habits.
Not eating after 8 p.m. is a great rule to live by, but I heard from someone recently that it's not the time that you eat, it's what you eat. I tended to disagree with that person though, since your body will soon be at rest after the 8 p.m. snack.
Yeah, Kristen, I tend to disagree with that also. I found that eating later in the evening actually slowed down my metabolism demonstrably. Plus, I'm lazy when it comes to brushing my teeth--if I don't do it before I get tired, it probably won't happen at all.