Answered by Karen Bressler on Monday, June 1, 2009
"Simply put, no," says Susan Weiner, R.D., M.S., C.D.E., C.D.N., a nutritionist in private practice in New York City. "The body uses various enzymes, hormones, secretions, and acids to break down food. None of these are affected by time." But calories should be spread throughout the day so that they are consumed most efficiently. Remember, a pound of body weight translates into taking in, over time, 3,500 more calories than you expend. Sure, you're more likely to burn off a turkey sub eaten at midday rather than at midnight, when you're about to turn in—but there's time to correct the caloric balance sheet the next day. "The way that you gain weight," explains Weiner, "is if you eat too many calories [at any time], and your body cannot get rid of the calories at a fast enough rate."