Midnight Cravings: Loose Those Late Night Snacks If you wish to keep your Belly Tight
You work super late at the office. You are out with your friends partying. You spend long periods of time traveling or commuting. You’ve burned all your fuel from the exhausting workout. All these scenarios have one common denominator. They require you to raid the fridge at night in order to curb those hunger pangs.
Midnight cravings are something we all have experienced. But a study has found that late-night snacking could also be disrupting sleep and causing weight gain. Researchers discovered that late-night snacks can cause havoc in the hippocampus (the part of the brain where memories are made).
Late-night snacking may contribute to weight gain because calories burned earlier in the day are processed differently than calories burnt after sunset. According to a theory, the number of calories taken after 10 pm does not have the same effect as the same amount of calories taken before 10 pm. Research on the effects of late-night eating on body weight can be adverse. For example, it is found that eating after 8 p.m. can lead to excess weight gain. However, the report showed that those who ate close to bedtime had higher total daily calories but a lower body mass index. However, it is clear that if you are consuming too many calories at night, this will not help your ideal weight.
There is more to bodyweight than just losing belly fat. A study published in a well-known journal suggests that eating calories late at night can have an adverse impact on metabolic health, including glucose level blood and oxidation of fatty acids. This study is based on 3362 adult men and women, who found that the person who consumes more calories after dinner or late at night is more likely to behave an upsurge in weight along with lower insulin sensitivity. In a small study, healthy volunteers discovered that peak blood sugar levels and fat burning rates were approximately 18% higher in those who ate at night, just before bedtime.
The food we eat at late night is usually nutritionally questionable because most people eat junk food to deal with their mid-night cravings. Research has found that late-night snackers consumed 40% of their daily calories late at night and make snacking a sin because then it comes with adversities. You can eat a healthy diet but a bad form of snack can backfire on you.
4 Effective Methods to Stop Midnight Cravings:
Unneeded calories can be absorbed by snacking after dinner or before bedtime if you are not hungry. This is generally a result of boredom or stress. Try to incorporate the following tips in your daily routine to curb your evening snack cravings.
1. End Mealtime Madness
Plan ahead and shop for healthy meals throughout the week. You will be less likely to overeat when you eat different foods throughout the day with regular intervals.
2. Increase Protein and Fiber in Your Diet
A breakfast of oatmeal and a cup of low-fat or fat-free milk with a handful of nuts and fruits is one option. A sandwich with bran bread and an omelet with its yolk removed is another to increase protein in breakfast. For dinner, try to eat chicken breast, or a meat steak. Remember to increase your water intake correspondingly as the increase of protein in diet will cause an influx of urea and other nitrogen based waste products. These can become a threat to the regular functioning of the kidneys if proper water intake is not maintained.
Dietary fiber is what keeps our gut strong and working. It can be found in whole grains, legumes like beans, and lentils as well as vegetables, fruits, and nuts. You can go for egg salad to take both protein and carbs. For every 1,000 calories, the daily recommended intake of dietary fiber is approximately 14 grams. This is roughly 25g for women and 38g for men.
3. Take Proper Sleep:
A disrupted sleep is a disaster of mammoth proportions. It not only affects our glucose levels, and metabolism but also plays havoc with our hormones that regulate appetite, and body weight. Make a habit of waking up every day at the same time to tune your circadian rhythm. Adults generally require a natural sleep of anywhere between 7 to 9 hours with few exceptions.
4. Before You Pick Up Your Fork, Turn Off the Screen
Establish a rule to turn off the screens before eating as it can encourage mindless food intake. This applies to both playing video games, and watching television. Watching a screen will easily distract you from the food and reduce the number of hunger signals that are sent to your brain.
Still Hungry after Dinner?
People are prone to eat without genuine appetite. This may be due to stress, or a habit and not out of true hunger. Before you eat, ask yourself these questions: Am I truly hungry or thirsty? How am I feeling tired, bored or sad?
It’s okay to have a snack once in a while but what is important is to not make it a habit. Choose foods high in protein and fiber, and eat small amounts slowly and without distractions.