Late-night munching is a way many of us spend our nights. Unfortunately, we should be spending it sleep. We blame the interesting shows and movies that are available online. They are so gripping we can hardly take a nap after just one episode.
When we wait past our dinner like that, it is only fair that we munch on some chips, Doritos, or any snacks that can make the viewing entertaining. But is any of it good for our health? This blog will get into the particulars of late-night munching and how it might adversely impact your health. Before you ask, it also involves gaining significant weight. Read on this interesting blog minus the munchies!
How Eating And Circadian Rhythm Are Related?
Circadian rhythm refers to a silent clock that our body maintains in order to regulate all our bodily functions. It can include the sleep cycle and the way we process our nutrients which basically means calories. There are many ways by which it can influence you. Firstly, it can make or break your hormone cycle.
Now hormones like Leptin or Ghrelin keep in touch with your satiety and hunger levels which are active or inactive depending on the clock your body follows. Any kind of disruption might prove fatal. Secondly, our blood sugar levels depend a lot on our sleep cycles. Insulin levels not only help with digestion but also the way we feel hunger.
Thirdly, circadian rhythm determines our body heat. According to researchers, our body generates heat in the morning, and post evening it reduces, decreasing our metabolic rate significantly. Digestion also takes a back seat post lunch and that can impact the eating we do.
How Does Late Eating Affect Eating Habits And Food Choices?
Albeit entertaining, late-night munching can disrupt a number of things when weight loss is our goal. And to answer the bigger question, late-night eating will make you gain some kilos. Additionally, it can prove dangerous in the following ways-
- Too much calorie– Generally we munch on when we are binge-watching. This one often turns tricky because unknowingly we eat a lot of calories and with no physical activity, it is not going to work.
- Unhealthy foods become dear– The choice of food items that can be consumed at midnight is very scarce. Mostly it includes chips or other greasy alternatives that can mess up all your hard work. Even a piece of those can lead to catastrophic results.
- Emotions might influence eating– Stress, anxiety and those insecure feelings usually bubble out when we are vulnerable and that is generally in the night. To feel good, we depend on sugar-laced ice creams which are not quantified.
- No sleep means more hunger– Now when we are not sleeping we are eating which means it is not a regulated diet but whatever we can find in the cupboard. If we could work out that in the gym, that would have been wonderful but sadly we would be too tired to move and that will ultimately turn into calories.
- Effect on our metabolism– As you guessed, the implications are no good. Metabolic rate reduces when we are about to sleep so eating could be impacted severely.
Which Is The Best Time To Eat?
Since we have warned you about the side effects of late-night munching, it is only fair we tell you about the right time to eat. So the researchers are clear on this. We have to eat in the early hours of the day.
For instance, you should be eating your breakfast anywhere around 7 AM-9 AM. Lunch should be 5-6 hours post and by 7 PM you should have completed the last meal of the day. Their justification depends on the fact that diurnal timings have a better chance of burning calories and as you approach the night, this goes down and it cannot work in your favor.
Tips For Eating At Night
Sometimes things don’t go as we planned. Most of us might have a night working job that can lead us to having late meals. Also if you follow a hectic university schedule, chances are there is no easy way to eat an early meal. Even if you do, you might feel hungry later and sleep doesn’t bless the hungry.
In case you are all lucked out when it comes to eating early dinner, here we are giving some important tips to keep the danger to a minimum.
- Healthy snacks– We know how hard it is but to maintain a healthy weight, you have to give up all the chips and oily snacks.
- Watch the portions– You should not be eating larger quantities when you are eating late at night.
- Put proper timing to the schedule– Eating 2-3 hours before sleeping can be good to get a sleep.
- Drink water– Many times we feel hungry it is actually just a simple thirst and drinking some may be good.
- Stick to the balanced meal program– Just because you are eating past 7 PM, do not think you can abandon the whole nutritious food. Calculate the calories and go for nutritious food like you would day normally.
As fun as it sounds, late-night eating cannot be healthy in any way. So to time it better, you can plan your meals ahead and stick to foods that can increase satiety but reduce hunger. Remember, if your work-study timetable doesn’t sync up with your eating habits, make sure you follow the necessary tips shared by us.