Does not eating dinner lose weight?  That's how it is! But it doesn't mean that this is healthy or absolutely necessary to lose the fat we want. Let's see if the option of skipping dinner is efficient for our weight loss goals. What do the evidence and studies say?

Not eating dinner to lose weight is a question of calories...

Medical evidence has shown that the main cause of fat loss in the human body is the reduction of calories ingested. Calories are the energy with which our body functions daily. With calories, our body maintains its vital functions (breathing, heartbeat, brain activity...) and is capable of doing physical activities (moving, working, running...). Calories give us the energy we need to maintain body structure and perform all our daily functions. We get our calories from food. All foods provide a different number of calories.

The number of total calories needed daily varies from person to person. Daily calorie expenditure depends on the person's age, sex, amount of muscle mass, and physical activity. Roughly speaking, an adult usually requires about 2,000 calories a day .

Losing weight and fat is a matter of energy balance . If you eat more calories daily than you need, you gain weight. If you eat fewer calories than you require per day, you lose weight. If you eat as many calories as you need every day, you will neither gain nor lose weight. 

Count calories to lose weight

Suppose you need 2000 calories a day to survive. If you start eating 2,300 calories a day, you will gradually gain weight (and fat). However, if you consume 1,700 calories a day (300 less than you need), you will lose weight (including fat). The amount of calories each food can provide varies greatly. The greasiest and most processed foods contain the most calories compared to natural foods. For this reason, it is so easy to gain weight when you consume "junk food" (hot dogs, industrial pastries, alcohol, cakes...). With this type of food, we quickly exceed the daily calories we require, and the body stores the excess calories as fat. Even the way you cook can also modify the total calories of the meals. Steaming is not the same as frying food in oil.

Thus, we see that the choice of food is of utmost importance in a diet to lose weight . It is necessary to eat foods with a low calorie density.

So... not having dinner will lose your belly?

Yes and no! Not eating dinner loses weight as long as the rest of the meals we eat throughout the day do not exceed our daily maintenance calories. With the example that we will give, you will surely understand it.

Imagine that you eat several meals a day with a high calorie density. For example, you have fried eggs with bacon and some chocolate sweets for breakfast. For lunch, you eat sausages, pizza, and soda. Later, I snack on several servings of industrial pastries, donuts, and chocolate milkshakes. Additionally, you lead a sedentary lifestyle. In this case, even if you decide to cut out dinner, you will continue to gain weight. Because? Because the rest of your meals of the day have enough caloric density to continue making you gain weight. To lose fat, it would be much more practical if you changed the foods in all your meals. In this case, if you replace processed foods with healthy, low-calorie foods, you would lose weight (even if you decided to include dinner). As you see, it is not a question of not having dinner , but of eating well throughout the day.

Not eating dinner slims your belly

A case in which not eating dinner helps you lose weight 

Now, let's look at the case in which  if I don't eat dinner I can lose weight . Let's take the example that you are consuming about 2000 calories a day (your maintenance kcal) divided into 5 meals of 400 calories each. Let's assume that most of the foods you include in your meals are healthy (cereals, chicken, pasta, milk, vegetables...). Even if your meals are healthy, unless you reduce your overall calorie intake, you won't lose weight. However, in this example, you are at your maintenance calories (2000). Starting to lose fat should be easy. It is enough to reduce the daily food a little. As we have said that each meal provides you with 400 calories, if you eliminate dinner, you will consume 1600 calories a day (400 less than your maintenance). In this case, Not eating dinner makes you lose weight .


As you have deduced,  not having dinner makes you lose weight , but just as not having lunch or not having a snack makes you lose weight .  Really, it doesn't matter what time of day you stop eating, but rather having a negative total calorie count at the end of the day.  

Do I lose weight if I don't eat dinner? Depends. If you have dinner and your total calories consumed for the day are less than your energy expenditure, you will lose weight. If you decide not to eat dinner but your calories were excessive at previous meals, you will not lose weight. Do you understand? It is not a question of eliminating dinner, but of eating a balanced, low-calorie diet every day.

Yogurt and nuts to lose weight

To have dinner or not to have dinner to lose weight is a personal decision. If you decide to do it, at least do it with knowledge and knowing how your body's caloric expenditure works. You don't even need to eliminate dinner completely. You can also choose to make a small light dinner. In the example we have given, in which the person requires 2000 calories a day and consumes them in 5 meals of 400 calories, the following dinner can be made: a 60-calorie yogurt and two nuts (about 20 calories each). With this, the daily diet would remain at about 1700 calories and the calorie reduction would not be so drastic (only about 300 less compared to maintenance). 

Are there advantages to not having dinner?

This depends on each person and how comfortable each person feels without dinner. In most weight loss diets, you start by reducing foods from the last meals of the day. This makes sense because we are supposed to be most active during the early hours of the day and midday. We walk, work, move, play sports... Therefore, we need a good energy intake in the first hours. Our metabolic rate and activity slow down starting in the afternoon. However, the recommendation to reduce food in the last hours does not imply having to eliminate dinner completely.

Furthermore, each person has different circumstances. For example, someone who works or plays sports at night will prefer to eat more food at night and less in the morning. Some people prefer to skip other meals of the day to lose weight. For example,  intermittent fasting instead of skipping dinner . 

Intermittent fasting

The intermittent fasting method consists of not eating any food in the morning on some days of the week (it is not done every day; two or three days per week are enough). If you eat dinner at 9:00 p.m., you wouldn't eat anything else until 2:00 p.m. the next day on fasting days. The intermittent fasting method has become very popular and many people use it to reduce calories in their diets and lose weight. 

You lose weight if you don't eat dinner , but dinner is not the only meal that can be eliminated, as we have seen with intermittent fasting. So, does skipping dinner have benefits? It can be beneficial if your overall diet is balanced and not too calorically restrictive. Losing 300 or 400 calories from maintenance calories is usually enough for most people to lose weight. No need to go any lower! It's not about going hungry by eliminating foods like crazy. You can skip a meal (like dinner) on specific days of the week to help a little with the loss of body fat. Is this beneficial? If you are not hungry or have psychological problems, you can do it. Not eating dinner at night will help you lose weight if your calorie count is correct and you do things right. It is one more strategy that you can use on your path to losing weight, but it is not the only way or something mandatory to do.

Disadvantages or side effects of not having dinner 

Disadvantages of not having dinner at night

Why is it bad not to eat dinner to lose weight? According to what we have explained, it is not that not eating dinner is bad, but perhaps not everyone can tolerate it. And let's remember that the success of a diet depends on the person remaining faithful to the habits. If a diet causes excessive discomfort, the person could abandon it and it would be counterproductive. Not eating dinner will slim your belly if done properly, but this also has disadvantages . There are some compelling reasons not to implement this tactic:

  • • You can have a hard time feeling hungry at night. Many people do not get used to going to bed on an empty stomach.
  • • Feeling hungry can lead to getting up to snack at midnight or even bingeing at breakfast the next day.
  • • Not eating dinner causes insomnia in some cases. The person cannot sleep well because their body asks for food or they cannot stop thinking about food during the night waiting for breakfast the next day. Lack of sleep causes us to not perform well at work or playing sports. We will feel lacking energy for our activities the next day.
  • • Skipping dinner could make you irritable, in a bad mood, or reduce your ability to concentrate.
  • • In some cases, the person who goes to bed without dinner may experience nocturnal hypoglycemia. This means that blood glucose levels are too low at night. The person suffering from hypoglycemia could have nightmares, sweating, a feeling of paralysis in the body and even a headache the next day. Hypoglycemia occurs when the amount of sugar in the blood is less than 70 mg/dl.

If I don't eat dinner at night, I may have trouble sleeping

Frequently asked questions about not eating dinner at night

Before you ask if  not eating dinner will make you lose weight in a forum , clarify your last doubts with the following frequently asked questions. You may not have to look too far to find the answers to your concerns. We help you with everything right here!

Is it advisable not to have dinner when pregnant?

No! Never skip a single meal if you are pregnant. Keep in mind that your body is weaker during pregnancy, and during this stage you need even more calories than usual. Additionally, you will want the fetus to grow healthy and without problems. If you are pregnant, it is better to have a good dinner that includes all the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats).

Is it good not to have carbohydrates for dinner?

Don't eat carbohydrates at dinner

A good alternative, instead of not having dinner at all to lose weight, is to have a low-carbohydrate dinner. This makes sense, since carbohydrates provide energy, which we will not really need during the hours we will be asleep. Additionally, without carbohydrates, digestion will be easier. Eating a little chicken, vegetables and some dairy is a sensible option for losing weight. You can leave carbohydrates for breakfast and lunch. It is not so necessary that you eat pasta, rice or a lot of bread at night.

However, always remember that it is the total caloric count that counts. It is not so important that you eliminate carbohydrates at dinner, but rather that you consume fewer calories than you expend per day.

Does not eating breakfast and not having dinner lose weight?

Obviously, the more meals you skip compared to your current diet, the more daily calories you will lose. However, we do not see it advisable to eliminate breakfast and dinner. This makes no sense and is not practical at all. Cutting out too many meals will make you lack energy, irritable, and may cause inappropriate eating behavior. On specific days of the week, you can choose not to have dinner or do intermittent fasting, but it is not good to skip both meals at the same time (nor is it necessary to lose weight).

Not eating dinner at night loses weight

Does not eating dinner lose a lot of weight? How much weight do you lose without eating dinner for a week?

Well, this depends on how many calories your usual dinner had. We again take the example of an average adult, who usually needs 2000 calories a day. Imagine that this is your case (the 2000 calories per day do not have to apply to all people; each person must do a study of their metabolism and this is just an example). If your dinner was 400 calories, you should start losing fat if you stop eating this meal.

How much fat will you lose? You have to do a mathematical account. We know that 1 kg of human fat is 7716 calories. If we said that our dinner each day has about 400 calories, we must divide 7716/400. The result is 19.3 days.

Therefore, it would take a total of 2 weeks and a little more than 5 days to lose 1 kilogram of body fat if we eliminated dinner.

What if I go 15 days without dinner?

Continuing with the previous example, if we skip 15 400-calorie dinners (15 x 400), our body will have to burn about 6,000 calories from fat to obtain energy. The 6000 calories are approximately 78% of 1 kg of fat (which has 7716 calories). Thus, in 15 days without dinner we will have lost 0.78 kg of fat more or less (almost a kilo).

How long would it take to lose 10 kilos without dinner?

Thanks to the previous question, we have solved that 15 days of eliminating a 400-calorie dinner results in 0.78 kg of fat burned. So, we need 13 periods of 15 days to lose 10 kilos of fat. 

0,78 kg x 13 = 10,14 kg

13 periods of 15 days = 13 x 15 = 195 days

195 days equals 6.5 months. Therefore, it would take us about six and a half months to lose 10 kilos without eating dinner .

Can you live without dinner?

It is possible to live without dinner if the meals eaten during the day are healthy, complete and provide the energy we need. What matters is not the time you eat or the number of meals you eat, but the total amount of food and calories ingested throughout the day. Even so, you don't have to live without dinner to lose weight healthily. You can live without dinner, but it is not mandatory or even recommended. Not everyone can handle not eating at night, as has been explained.

Is it good not to eat dinner to lose weight?

It is simply one more option among the strategies to lose body weight. It all depends on how it is done. It is neither a good nor a bad thing. Nor is it a mandatory strategy to follow to achieve the objective.

I don't eat dinner and I don't lose weight, why?

This is probably because you are eating more calories than you need throughout the day. Even if you don't eat dinner, you are exceeding your daily caloric expenditure. Check your other meals to try to reduce total calories.


Is skipping dinner useful for losing weight?  Yes, you can try this strategy without problems, as long as you do it with control and following a well-planned diet. Not eating dinner will slim your belly , but we do not recommend it as a definitive or permanent strategy to lose weight. You can do it on specific days to give a boost to fat burning. However, in the long term, this method can be discouraging, since not everyone can go to sleep without dinner. Understand how calorie burning works in your body and you will be able to effectively use this weight loss system without putting your health at risk. 

Depor Trainer Facebook 

Sports Trainer Twitter 

 Instagram Sports Trainer 

Blog and fitness shop online