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Why you Should Avoid Late Night Snacking

By Ashley Chapman

There may be many reasons why you have decided to have a late night snack. Maybe it's a late night with friends, you cannot sleep or you are finishing a late work project.  Whatever it is, it's important to understand that eating late at night has negative impacts on both your weight and your overall health.

There will be times that you cannot avoid eating late night snacks, so choosing healthier items is an option you should consider. Below are some risks of late night snacking and healthy options if you must eat at night.

Loss of Sleep

Sometimes it can be soothing to eat a snack or meal when you cannot sleep at nighttime. Unfortunately, this may do more harm than good. Eating during a time that is not on your normal eating schedule increases your chances of having stomach discomfort and may interrupt your normal sleeping pattern.

If you are having a hard time sleeping, choosing to drink chamomile tea or eating a banana may help with falling to sleep faster.

Acid Reflux

If you find yourself unable to sleep at night because of acid reflux, it might be because of your late night eating. The cause of acid reflux is the acid from your stomach coming back into your esophagus, which happens when your food has not fully digested yet.

If you must eat something late at night, try to eat something that is low in acidity and wait at least an hour before laying down.

Weight Gain

While it may not be the actual eating late at night that causes weight gain, it is what you are choosing to eat that will. It is rare that someone might crave an apple or nuts late at night. Many times, its chips, a hamburger or another food that is high in fat.

Choosing to eat these unhealthy foods, often and late at night, will increase the possibility of gaining weight over time. It is best to avoid eating late at night, and if you do, to be aware of your choices and choosing the healthiest options. This will help curb unhealthy eating habits.

Increase in Hunger

Eating is essential to our daily routines. However, our sleep allows our body to reset itself for the next day. Eating releases insulin from your pancreas, which then triggers your body to remind itself that it will be hungry again soon. This normally does not happen at nighttime because the body sleeps.

Unfortunately, eating late at night continues this release of insulin, so you end up being hungrier in the morning than you normally would be.  

Healthy Food Options

If you know that you will have late nights, it is best to have a source of healthy food in your kitchen.

Foods that are low in fat and may help with falling asleep include:

  • Warm milk
  • Fruits (bananas or oranges)
  • Popcorn (low sodium and low butter)
  • Caffeine free tea

Follow these tips to sleep better and make it through the night.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

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