If you’re one of the many people in Chamblee, GA, that is an active participant in nighttime snacking, you’re watching a video and the hero snacks on a bowl of chips, suddenly chips sound pretty delicious. It happens all the time. You may be a boredom snacker before bed. Boredom snacking gives your hands something for your hands to do that doesn’t require thought. Late-night snacking can add weight, even though a calorie is a calorie no matter when you eat, you probably already consumed three full meals for the day and the snack only adds to that calorie count.
Late night snacking interferes with the circadian rhythm.
Your body has a circadian rhythm that makes it more active during the day than at night. That activity requires energy, so your insulin sensitivity is higher during the day when you’re more active. Insulin opens up the cells to receive energy. If the cells respond well to insulin, they have higher insulin sensitivity and uptake the glucose necessary. If they don’t react well, you develop insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.
Late night eating can lead to poor processing of food.
The response of your body to insulin is key. If it’s not as effective at night it can cause two potential problems. The first is weight gain. If the calories aren’t burned, they’re stored as fat. That can lead to obesity. Chronic inefficient use of insulin leads to metabolic disease. Studies show that eating in a wider window, such as from 8 am to 12 pm, compared to 8 am to 5 pm, can increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome.
Acid reflux may be a problem when you snack late at night.
When you eat, gravity helps move food through the digestive process. Gentle exercise, like walking, can also help the digestive process by increasing blood flow to the digestive system. If you lay down right after eating, it doesn’t get the benefit of either. Eating late at night can increase the potential for acid reflux. Eating and lying down makes it easier for food and stomach acid to back up in the esophagus. Acid reflux can cause heartburn and even be the cause of a sore throat or sinus infection.
- Eating too late at night affects your sleep quality. The insulin release can affect the brain and tell it to stay awake.
- You can get an upset stomach or nausea from eating at night. Digestion slows due to tissue repair and regrowth. Eating at night doesn’t allow for digestion or repair to occur effectively.
- Eating at night may not pack on the pounds if you don’t eat more than your daily caloric allowance. However, most people don’t choose healthy or low-calorie foods late at night.
- Some people need extra carbs to fall asleep due to a primitive instinct not to sleep until there are enough calories. Plan healthy nighttime snacks like fruit or nuts if you need to eat.
For more information, contact us today at Thrive Fitness Atlanta