We’ve all been there. It’s late, and you look down to realise that you have one hand inside the fridge, another curled around a pint of ice cream. Guilty.
Maybe you’re hungry. Maybe it’s just a habit.
Whatever the reason, you may just want to you reconsider that midnight snack.
We all are aware that when you eat is as important as what you eat. Other than weight gain, there are also these consequences to worry about.
1. Increased blood pressure
Scientifically proven: Eating late at night increases your blood pressure while eating two hours before going to sleep lowered the impact significantly. (Study carried out on people with high blood pressure)
When sleeping, your blood pressure should drop to allow you a restful night of sleep. Eating before bed keeps your blood pressure high, which means that you’ll be super alert and have trouble falling asleep.
Common culprits include stimulants such as foods high in caffeine and MSG.
The result? Looking like this the next day.
2. Causes heartburn
You’re looking at the menu and your stomach decides to order an extra large serving of french fries (with an upsized coke please!).
Before long, you’ll be regretting that decision. Greasy and sugar-laden foods should not be consumed on a daily basis, and consuming them right before bed is even worse.
This may trigger an acid reflux and cause that burning pain in your chest. A whole night of tossing and turning? No thank you. We’ll rather get our beauty sleep.
It’s a dilemma with this one.For those suffering from diabetes, eating sugary snacks before bed can cause high blood sugar the next day.
On the other hand, not eating anything before bed can lead to low blood pressure afterwards.
If you’re waking up in the middle of the night, it may be a sign of low blood sugar.
Our recommendation would be to have a small sugar-free snack (carrots work best!) at night, which helps to stabilise your blood sugar levels.
4. Weight gain
Ah, the dreaded weight gain. Time and again, research has proven that eating later does indeed contribute to weight gain. Eating earlier in the day lets the body burn off the food for energy throughout the day, instead of storing it away. We tend to be more active in the day, so daytime would be the time where your body metabolises the energy most efficiently.
When eating earlier, hormones are produced which caused the to participants to feel full longer. This reduces the chances of raiding the fridge for a late night snack.
Weight gain is an issue because most of the time, the food we reach out for is rarely healthy. A celery stick for a late night snack? Pftt. It will never happen. Thus, calories are piled up at night. By now, we all know that weight is gained if the calories consumed exceed calories burned. This could be why you’re not losing weight even with salads for lunch.
Try to eat at frequent intervals, leaving at most 6-8 hours between each meal. Factor in a 2 hour gap between your last meal and bedtime, to allow sufficient time for your body to digest the food. If you absolutely must, have a light dinner to avoid overtaxing the digestive system.