We all have seen ourselves tiptoeing to the kitchen in the middle of the night, and surrendering ourselves to the temptation of that last slice of delicious chocolate cake or that enticing Donut we have been craving for, haven’t we? Most of us can relate to midnight binge of digging ourselves into that scrumptious burger while watching our favourite post meal movie.

While it is a common sight to see most of us getting sudden and sporadic midnight cravings even after having a full meal at dinner, we also know that it can be really difficult to resist indulging into a midnight snack when hunger strikes. Nothing can sabotage healthy eating habits like a late night bowl of dessert or a stuffed cheese sandwich.

A team of experts suggests that people who eat late at night consume an average of 400 extra calories in comparison to the people who don’t. Our concern here is beyond the number of calories that get piled on. The choice of snack one binges on might not be nutrient packed, thus throwing off your daytime healthy habits in no time.

Why is it that some people feel hungry after dinner?

The most common theory for this revolves around the hectic work schedule for most people during the day, resulting in them skipping their breakfast or lunch. Hence, as the night rolls around, since the body does not get sufficient calories, they are starving. Additionally, serotonin levels too drop at night, which makes them reach for food in hopes of upping their happy brain chemical.

The urge for midnight snacking increases when one indulges in an early dinner or sleeps late. Our body suddenly feels depleted and gives us hunger pangs resulting in sporadic binge in the middle of the night. Other reasons that are cited are lack of sleep, depression or simply boredom.

What are the ill effects of eating late at night?

Binge eating late at night can lead to adverse effects on our body. It can result in indigestion and heartburn. Foods can also trigger hormone responses, thereby meddling with sleep behaviours and circadian rhythm.

What would be the remedies in order to avoid binge eating?

In order to help you overcome the need for midnight binge eating, here are some tips from some well-known nutritionists to help your stomach from growling into late hours of the night.

  • Fuller meal for Breakfast and Lunch: An ideal breakfast and lunch should compromise of at least 400 food based calories, including 25 grams of protein.
  • Chewing Gum between meals: Experts suggest that chewing gum for at least 45 minutes aids in suppressing hunger and craving for snacks.
  • Solid snack between meals: A solid snack between meals, each including a minimum of 7 grams of protein helps to avoid hunger pangs in the middle of the night.
  • Opting for healthier alternatives for sweet treats: While most of us find it hard to give up on the sweet cravings, simple tactics like snacking on some nutritious fruits or combining the fruit salad with natural yoghurt can help a great deal in suppressing the unnecessary hunger pangs.

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