Why Your Midnight Snack is Causing Weight Gain

Sometimes it seems that there is nothing more satisfying than a midnight snack. Sneaking out of your bedroom into the dark kitchen, opening up the refrigerator, and choosing a sweet treat can be both comforting and habit forming. Though this little snack can seem harmless, it may be causing you to gain weight. Check out these important reasons to skip the midnight snack and stay in bed instead.

Metabolism Slows at Night

As part of your body’s internal clock, the metabolism knows that nighttime is when it should slow down, rest, and not expect to work as hard. For this reason, those that eat late at night are at a higher risk of keeping those calories for much longer. During the day, your movements and activity keep calories in a constant state of burning. You eat, but then you work, walk, play, or just generally move about. At night, this natural cycle doesn’t happen. You eat, your body knows it’s not the proper time, and then you also lie down, lounge, or sleep. It adds up quickly for a few extra pounds.

Nighttime Calories Turn to Fat

This isn’t true for all nighttime calories, but calories taken in without the opportunity for burning off are much more likely to turn into fat. When calories stick around your body for too long, they have to go somewhere. Since these sort of calories aren’t burned in efficient time, they are transformed into fat pockets. While eating a carrot or celery stick is unlikely to hurt you, the typical midnight snack may up your body fat percentage.

Midnight Snacks Tend to be Unhealthy

As mentioned above, if your midnight snack is a super healthy option, you may not have anything to worry about. For most of us, however, that is not the case. Midnight snacks, by the nature of them, tend to be something quick and easy. This often means that we reach for the chips, pre-packaged sweet treat, microwave popcorn, or other calorie and fat packed convenience food. Eating these types of food any time of day can be bad for your health, so eating them at night is just doubling the negative effects.

It Can Cause Memory Problems

Eating at night confuses the body. Your body basically says, hey I thought it was night! And yet, by your actions, you are telling it that it is day time. A body that is out of sync with its natural clock is prone to memory problems, along with extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and similar negative side effects.

If you simply can’t live without something at night, try finding a low calorie snack or drink to enjoy instead. Green tea, sleepytime tea, or a very low cal vegetable may be just what you need to satisfy your craving without overdoing it.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Shari's Berries