Can Eating Late At Night Cause Weight Gain?
The reasons why you should avoid those late night snacks
Losing weight is definitely a numbers game. We have to use up more calories than we take in to see the scale go down. But, did you know that when you eat those calories can have an effect, too? Eating late is not a good thing for your diet. Here’s why.
Your Metabolism Slows Down At Night
When we sleep, our bodies slow down. This slow down includes the speed of our metabolism, too. So, during our sleeping hours, we’re burning far fewer calories than during the day when we’re up and moving around.
It’s important to burn off as many of our calories from the day as possible before going to bed in order to prevent storing those calories as fat.
Eating late simply gives us less time to burn the calories from that last meal before our bodies slow down for the night. Experts suggest that you stop eating at least three hours before bedtime.
Try To Avoid Too Many Carbohydrates in Your Last Meal
In addition to avoiding eating late in the evening, it’s a good idea to watch what you eat, too if you’re trying to lose weight. Eating a dinner that contains a good amount of protein and very few carbs is the best way to help out your diet, whether you’re eating late or eating dinner earlier.
Carbohydrates cause blood sugar to rise. Simple carbohydrates, like sugar, white flour, alcohol and white rice, enter the bloodstream very quickly, which causes the blood sugar to really spike.
Your body’s response to a spike in blood sugar is to produce insulin to regulate this blood sugar. However, it’s important to note that fat can only be stored in the body when insulin is present.
So, lots of insulin circulating through the body at bedtime, when the metabolism is slowing anyway, creates the perfect combination for storing fat.
Try To Include Higher Amounts of Protein and Essential Fats In Your Final Meal of The Day
When you keep your evening meal higher in protein and lower in carbohydrate, whether you’re eating late or eating early, you minimize the production of insulin just before bedtime. This helps you to prevent the storage of fat, even if you don’t get the chance to actually burn off all your calories before going to bed.
When you do find yourself eating late, some exercise either before or after the meal can help you counteract the effects of eating late. Just be careful. Some people find it difficult to sleep if they exercise to close to bedtime. We all find ourselves eating late on occasion, and we usually won’t see any ill effects from it if it happens just once in a while.
But, if you’re trying to lose weight, eating late is not a good strategy. You may find that just by ensuring you stop eating at least three hours before bedtime, and by ensuring that your last meal of the day is low in carbohydrates, you can lose weight far more easily and with less effort.