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“It’s very difficult to generalize answers for these types of questions because the answer depends on so many factors,” said Natalie Rizzo, M.S., R.D., a New York City-based registered dietitian. “For instance, meal timing definitely matters for athletes or people who are very active because they need to properly fuel before workouts and refuel after workouts. This question also makes me think of the common myth that you shouldn’t eat before bed. Generally, it’s not great to go to a bed on a full stomach because lying down interferes with digestion and can cause heart burn. But eating right before bed will not cause weight gain. The only thing that can cause weight gain is eating more calories than you burn, and it doesn’t matter what time you eat them. So the bottom line is that it matters when you eat in certain circumstances, like for athletes or those that suffer from digestive issues, but most people are free to eat whenever.”