We’ve all heard that eating at night will make you gain weight, but, is it true? Many experts insist that eating at night does affect your weight no matter what you eat, while others believe that is what you choose to eat at night what causes weight gain. To stay on the safe side, we’ve compiled a few tips to let you know when and what to eat to keep your body healthy and fit.

 

Eating at night: why do we do it?

After returning from school, college or work at night, many of us will feel a pang of hunger which we crave to satisfy. This happens due to several reasons: from force of habit to boredom, dehydration or even stress and anxiety. It can also be a sign that there are low levels of salt, sugar or protein in your body, which your system is longing to restore. Therefore, as soon as you’re home, it begins asking you to normalize the situation fast, which is why we usually recur to unhealthy fast foods and snacks.

 

When and what should we eat at night?

Many experts will agree that you should eat whenever your body asks you to. If you have a craving for food at night, then it’s best to obey to your body’s impulses. However, the best way to avoid the resulting weight gain is to review your daily food intake and change certain unhealthy habits:

  • Consider when and what you eat:

    Are you eating properly during your breakfast and lunch? Are you snacking between meals? Most experts suggest eating small portions of healthy food during the day, including small snacks between meals to keep your metabolism running smoothly. Evaluate your eating habits and change them if needed.
  • Focus on your food:

    Eating while performing other activities can be counterproductive, since it can make you lose track of how much you’re consuming, which can lead to eating more calories than you really need. Stop working and avoid watching TV while eating so you can concentrate on your food.
  • Keep yourself hydrated:

    Since late-night cravings can derive from dehydration, make sure you always keep a bottle of water with you, so you can drink as much of it as you need throughout the day.
  • Choose the right food:

    If after changing your habits you still arrive home feeling hungry, then listen to your body but pick the proper food. Avoid snacks which are high in calories, and stay away from large meals. Opt for a small portion of fruits, vegetables or wholegrains, instead.
  • Define a curfew:

    A great suggestion is to place a food curfew so you can get your body used to not eating after a demarcated hour. It’s recommended to have at least 8 hours food-free before breakfast, so define your curfew according to your schedule and eating habits.
  • Don’t eat right before bed:

    If you’re about to go to sleep and you’re feeling a little hungry, avoid snacking, since it can interrupt your rest, and your metabolism slows down during your sleep hours, making the food harder to digest. Avoid eating for at least 3 hours before going to bed.

 

 

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Sources:
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. True or false: eating at night will make you gain weight. http://www.bidmc.org/YourHealth/Therapeutic-Centers/Weight-Management.aspx?ChunkID=156995
FitDay. Healthy late night snacks. http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/healthy-late-night-snacks.html#b
FitMentality.com. What to eat at night: guidelines for eating before bed/sleep. http://fitmentality.com/2012/04/06/what-to-eat-at-night-guidelines-for-eating-before-bedsleep/
The biggest loser club. Does eating at night make you fat? https://my.biggestloserclub.com.au/food-fitness/eating-at-night.html