10 Causes of Weight Gain That Doctors Have Changed Their Minds About

Eating After 8 p.m. Makes You Fatter
Eating late at night doesn't necessarily cause weight gain. It's how much you eat at night that counts. Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Thinkstock

This is another one that seems to make perfect sense. Pioneering nutrition guru Adelle Davis famously advised people to eat like a king at breakfast and a pauper at dinner. And we've all heard the adage that if we eat too much too late in the evening, our sleeping (or TV-watching) bodies won't burn many calories, and we'll only end up storing more fat.

But again, science doesn't back up that belief. In the mid-2000s, researchers from Oregon Health and Science University charted the eating habits of monkeys as part of a study on the effect of menopause on weight gain. They discovered that when left to their own devices, the primates ate on different schedules, with many consuming most of their food in the evenings and late at night. There turned out to be no correlation between weight gain and the time of feeding [source: BBC News].

There is a caveat however: People tend to snack after dinner while watching TV or surfing the net. If you do that in addition to your regular meals, the increased caloric consumption will show up on the scale [source: Zelman].