Munching mindlessly in front of the television after dinner or stopping for a late-night snack after an evening with friends or family can cause you to pile on the pounds. But sensible meals late in the night that you eat due to hectic work schedule or some other work once in a while will not affect your weight. You’ll only gain weight if you’re eating more calories than you burn, so build your whole day schedule and manage your workout regime to avoid weight gain.
Late night eating doesn’t have to upset this balance but it can if you are not careful. If you grab a midnight snack that pushes you over your calorie needs for the day once in a while then it is unlikely to affect your weight. But if it becomes a nightly habit, then the weight will likely start to pile on.
Eating late at night probably isn’t good for your body. Late meals appear to interfere with weight loss and may contribute to indigestion.
The problem with Late-Night eating-
Late-night eating is often banned from diet plans because it’s not usually the time you reach for a handful of carrot sticks or a spinach salad. You’re probably going to indulge in processed snacks, sweets and fast food. These foods are calorie-dense, nutrient-poor and more likely to add pounds to your frame.
Regularly eating late can also throw off your internal clock. When you eat during your body’s normal “sleep” time, your body may store the extra calories as fat. Researchers summarize that your body reacts differently to food depending on the time of the day, because of body temperature, biochemical reactions, hormone levels and physical activity.
If you feel hungry after 8pm, a healthy or modest-size snack may help you sleep. It is advisable that when you are hungry at night, eat healthy snacks, such as oatmeal with low-fat milk. Avoid large meals and spicy foods, which can cause discomfort and disrupt sleep.
Caffeinated foods and beverages, such as chocolate, coffee and energy drinks can make it difficult to fall asleep and lead to daytime tiredness the following day. Overeating or eating high-fat, greasy or acidic foods, such as tomato products, at night heighten the risk of acid reflux/acidity.
How to deal with it?
Consuming most of your calories during the day, in the form of balanced meals or snacks, promote positive energy levels, appetite control and overall wellness. When you do resort to late-night eating, choose nutritious foods, such as whole grains, fruits or vegetables.
If at all you have indulged into your cravings then take a walk to burn the excess calories that you have consumed.
Once in a while, it is absolutely fine to eat late night due to some party or celebration but make sure you balance it out the next day by eating moderately.
Plan your workout regimen the next day if you feel you over-ate last night.
The good news is that having this knowledge, we could take steps to reduce the risk of overeating by eating earlier in the day, or find alternative ways to deal with stress.