You late night eaters may be doing something right if you want to maintain lean body mass.
Keim NL, Van Loan MD, Horn WF, Barbieri TF, Mayclin PL.
Weight loss is greater with consumption of large morning meals and fat-free mass is preserved with large evening meals in women on a controlled weight reduction regimen. J Nutr. 1997 Jan;127(1):75-82.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether meal ingestion pattern [large morning meals (AM) vs. large evening meals (PM)] affects changes in body weight, body composition or energy utilization during weight loss. Ten women completed a metabolic ward study of 3-wk weight stabilization followed by 12 wk of weight loss with a moderately energy restricted diet [mean energy intake +/- SD = 107 +/- 6 kJ/(kg.d)] and regular exercise. The weight loss phase was divided into two 6-wk periods. During period 1, 70% of daily energy intake was taken as two meals in the AM (n = 4) or in the PM (n = 6). Subjects crossed over to the alternate meal time in period 2. Both weight loss and fat-free mass loss were greater with the AM than the PM meal pattern: 3.90 +/- 0.19 vs. 3.27 +/- 0.26 kg/6 wk, P <>
that has definitely been my experience. much easier to delay eating during the day when one is busy working and such. much harder at night when there is nothing to do and your body wants to eat.