Eating late at night is shared among the general population, although most of us have done it throughout our lives. While it may not be harmful to partake in midnight snacks occasionally, an ongoing habit of doing so could be pretty dangerous to your health (causes weight gain) and well-being.
When you binge-watch your favorite shows while you’re lounging on the couch, you are not alone. Even though, there is nothing wrong with eating at night if you are hungry, late-night snacking is more frequent than just not done out of habit, boredom, or stress, rather than out of genuine need.
Surprising Reasons You Can’t Stop Late-Night Snacking
1. Screen Timing
A critical cue for evening munching, for the majority of us, is the screen. Watching your favorite shows or spending time on your cell phones are all examples of this.
As a result, spending more time in front of the television could lead to more unhealthy eating.
2. Skipping Meals
It is common for people who skip a meal to experience late-night hunger, unhealthy snacking, and metabolism slowdown.
3. You’re Stressed
Stress enhances the body’s hormone cortisol production, which increases its appetite as your body believes it must be ready to combat.
These foods can calm you psychologically—it seems to block regions of your brain that create emotional tension.” This can briefly help you feel better, but it increases your snack desires.
4. Forget to Stay Hydrated
Even a minor amount of dehydration can make you think you’re hungry, especially when you’re involved in other activities and not paying attention to your fluid intake.
If you don’t drink enough fluids during the day, you will be mildly dehydrated, which may cause late-night cravings.
Harmful Effects of Late-Night Snacking Habit
1. Disturbed Sleep
A person’s sleep cycle may be disturbed if they eat late at night and sleep late the following day. Additionally, it has been discovered that eating late at night may contribute to certain people having strange dreams at night.
2. Poor Digestion– Eating Late at Night
Re-evaluation of your meal timings is recommended if you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux frequently. These gastric difficulties, which can be caused by poorly digested food and excessive acid in the stomach, have been connected to eating a late dinner.
3. Unhealthy Weight Gain
Your body has a circadian rhythm (also known as a body clock), which can be put out of sync if you eat at inconvenient times of the day. The fact that late-night eaters are more likely to make bad food choices may also contribute to this phenomenon.
4. Increased Blood Pressure– Eating Late at Night
In addition to having more significant consequences, a misaligned body clock may increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes, among other things. In addition, high blood pressure or hypertension and elevated fasting blood sugar levels have been connected to the habit of eating late at night or eating dinner much after the recommended hour of 7 p.m.
Tips to Curb Night-Time Cravings
1. Eating Frequently is Beneficial
A diet that includes three substantial meals and one or two nutritious snacks each day is appropriate. Starving yourself will cause you to feel hungry and lead to binge eating and weight gain.
2. Hydrate yourself
Do you know that your body is capable of perceiving both hunger and thirst signals? To keep yourself well-hydrated, try drinking one or two glasses of water at night if you find yourself getting hungry. Besides, about eight glasses of water each day should be consumed.
3. Prepare to have a Nutritious Snack Beforehand
Plan on eating a healthy snack an hour after dinner to minimize severe cravings later on in the night. Don’t wait for food cravings to motivate you. People binge when they are stressed. So keep unhealthy snacks out of sight.
The principle of “out of sight, out of mind” can help people keep junk food out of their sight and mind. Do you crave a specific unhealthy snack? If so, avoid buying it in the store, and it’ll be out of your house.
4. Have a Cup of Herbal Tea– Eating Late at Night
For short-term nourishment, a cup of warm herbal tea will make you feel full and keep you occupied. You’ll feel satisfied and, perhaps, will not succumb to the need to snack on something.
5. Brush your Teeth
Try brushing your teeth before you surrender to unhealthy cravings in the evening. Then, when you finish eating, you signal to your brain that it’s time for bed.
6. Keep a Food Journal– Eating Late at Night
Recording your day calorie intake and food consumption patterns can help you avoid a common evening munching trap. An accounting diary is a perfect tool for maintaining your accountability in the food choices you make. In addition, knowing how your patterns are impacted will allow you to change and fix them.
Do You Still Want Anything to Eat Later in the Evening?
You can’t watch TV without munching on a snack; but, if you want to be healthy, make sure to load up on the good stuff as mentioned below:
- Approx. 1 to 2 cup measurement of air-popped popcorn (sprinkle some chili powder, cayenne pepper, or parmesan cheese for added taste).
- A 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt is an excellent way to dip fruit for an added sour flavor.
- One small, thinly cut apple (add a tablespoon of peanut butter for protein).
- GRAB A CUFF of ALMONDS, WALNUTS, PISTACHIOS, and PECANS (if you can find them).
Hope it Helps! 😊