Is Late-Night Eating Bad For You?

Is Late-Night Eating Bad For You?
Pushkar Garg
Oct 23, 2019
Updated On Oct 23, 2019 16:14

Sometimes, eating at the right time and intervals is very important, although not as much as eating healthy. Late-night snacking may lead to weight gain, bad eating habits, and even insomnia. However, if you feel hungry late at night, you’re more likely to heed the call of your grumbling stomach. Anyway, there happen to be a lot of contradicting opinions on this topic. One common myth is that you should not eat after 8 P.M. Scientists claim that the contents of your diet matter more than when you eat.

If you have set goals to lose, maintain, or gain weight, you should get expert advice. You might be able to change your diet in the short term and get fit but you are likely to fall into old habits without help. This is where consulting certified nutritionists can help you. Get FITFEAST and connect with experts in real-time for customized daily diets based on your needs and preferences. Communicate on chat or call at your convenience.

Eating Late At Night Effects

Meal Timing and Frequency

Ultimately, the calorie content of what you eat defines your waistline and weight. Some researchers suggest that while eating late at night might not make a huge difference, maintaining meal timing and frequency can help you regulate your appetite. Eating a hearty breakfast and a small dinner has always been considered good for health. A high-calorie breakfast keeps you full and prevents overeating throughout the day. Studies suggest that having a high-calorie breakfast reduces cravings for sweets.

If you eat late at night, skip breakfast. If you eat out of schedule, then eat whenever you feel hungry; follow your stomach’s calls. Also, eating small meals frequently will help you manage appetite and reduce hunger cravings. Therefore, meal timings and frequency can help you reduce calorie intake.

Eating After 8 P.M is Okay

The logic is simple – consuming extra calories will lead to weight gain irrespective of when you eat. If you can control your calorie intake by eating post 8 P.M., then there’s nothing wrong with it, according to scientists. The body doesn’t discriminate between calories and uses them all the same. It is true, nonetheless, that the metabolism slows down when you sleep but it doesn’t stop altogether. The only problem is that late-night cravings aren’t healthy. You might feel hungry if you keep working late into the night. Also, if you crave for something sweet, going for a chocolate bar or biscuits wouldn’t be right. Eat fruit instead.

Poor Food Choices

Late-night eating leads to making poor food choices in addition to eating more food than is required. Think about it, when was the last time you ate boiled veggies or fresh fruits when you felt hungry late at night? You most likely ended up eating Oreos, ice cream, chips, soda or other junk food, right? These foods are high in calories have negligible nutritional value. Those who work night shifts will affirm that finding healthy food at night is quite difficult unless they make an effort to bring something with them or they work for a company that provides healthy food.

People affected by emotional problems tend to binge eat late at night, which makes them make poor food choices. Therefore, try to eat when you’re hungry instead of when you’re bored, sad, stressed or anxious. Sleep deprivation is another issue causing you to eat untimely. If you’re tired, you’re likely to eat more than you usually eat or indulge in high-calorie foods. You can eat at night without worrying about weight gain as long as you don’t consume too many calories. If you feel hungry after dinner, eat something like carrots with hummus, peanut butter on apples, regular popcorn, etc.

Might Lead To Heart Problems

Those who eat dinner late at night have a high probability of high blood pressure, even more so than consuming high quantities of sodium. Eating dinner 2 hours or less before going to bed doesn’t let the blood pressure drop, which increases the risk of a heart attack. Eating at least 3 hours before going to bed is associated with better control of blood pressure. Plus, eating right before going to bed disturbs sleep, which might further affect heart health.

Possibility of Acid Reflux

According to doctors, your last meal should be at least 3 hours before bedtime. Acid reflux is a bothersome situation in which the stomach acids are displaced and are directed back through the food pipe. You should stay upright after eating as that keeps the food where it should be; lying down right after eating increases the probability of acid reflux. People who sleep soon after eating are prone to acid reflux, which can be managed simply by changing food habits.

Therefore, you can eat late at night as long as you’re not overeating. If you keep a check on your calories, you won’t gain weight or face health problems. However, it might affect your food choices, which is reason enough to avoid it. In case it is unavoidable, eat nutrient-dense foods along with low-calorie drinks. Start eating more for breakfast and equally less for dinner to reduce cravings and stay healthy.

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