Late Night Food

Eating late does not matter

If you have ever heard that eating too late may lead to you gaining more weight, you were led down the wrong road. Old ways of thinking thought that while sleeping, your body would store more fat and burn less calories when asleep but new knowledge has left this way of thinking obsolete. New age nutritionists believe that a "calorie is a calorie" and it does not matter when you eat. Something does not magically gain calories because you eat it later than a certain time so why do people still believe that it matters? There are a few reasons.

#1. What you eat

Think back to what you eat before you go to bed and you may realize that your choice of food is where you have been going wrong. I used to eat whole bowls of sugary cereal before bed which took a toll on my body. At the time, I thought "I should not be eating so close to bedtime" when eating sugary cereal at any time of day will do a number to your body. This reflects what we perceive nighttime as. Most would tell you that the night is the time to relax and while this is true, it means we let our guard down as to what we are putting into our bodies.

#2. Amount of food

Not only does the type of food eaten matter but also the amount you eat. People tend to eat more at night and most of the time, it is not out of necessity. Most people eat more at night because they are bored or stressed, not because they are hungry. This means that most people eat more calories than they should in a day with that last snack. Not only this but eating late could make it harder to fall asleep due to discomfort. It has been studied that people who get less sleep gain more weight, just another reason to not eat too much at night.

#3. Habit

Most of your problems may just come down to bad eating habits. Things such as eating in places other than the kitchen, such as the living room, can be worse for you than you think. You should never eat dinner in the living room or in front of the TV, as then you associate those areas or activities with eating. Another bad habit is eating too fast. Take your time when you eat, and you may notice you eat less than normal. This is because the body needs time to process how much you have eaten and give your brain that info.

What to do about this?

If you know that you eat too much or not the right thing at night, what can be done to fix it? As said before, most of this is down to habit and our love of routine, so it will not be easy but the most important thing to do is break your habits. Instead of eating a bowl of cereal at night, make it a habit to eat an apple. Be more conscious about what we are putting in our bodies and do not let your instincts control you, as they will mislead you. Control your day more and if you know you will want a late-night snack, plan for it. While it does not matter that you eat a late-night snack, you do not want to go over in calories with such a snack and have that day be a negative for you. All this boils down to self-control. Instead of eating something bad at night, eat something good and you will see good results. Instead of eating a whole meal, eat a little snack. It sounds simple but it is just that easy!