For many people, late-night eating is just a habit. It's quiet at night, no one is around to see you eat, and it's a peaceful time to enjoy your favorite food. Unfortunately, this habit has got to go if you want to lose weight and stay fit. It is "bad" to eat late if you tend to engage in mindless eating. If you are not truly hungry and you are responding to stress, it can be easy to overindulge and sabotage your weight loss efforts.
Eating late at night doesn't cause you to gain weight, but eating “too much” late at night will. Eating a “heavy dinner” late at night is a bad habit to get into because it doesn't leave enough time before going to bed to digest your food well. Generally, it takes about three hours to digest a typical dinner of about 600 calories. If you are eating late at night when you're about to go to bed, you are not giving your body an opportunity to burn those extra calories. It leads to weight gain.
- Sugar-rich foods like chocolates, cakes, cookies, ice cream, pastries etc.
- Fried foods like potato chips and French fries.
- Super cheesy foods like pizza and cheese sandwich
Eat a Satisfying Dinner 3 Hours Before Going to Bed
Eat balanced dinner with the appropriate amount of calories, healthy fat, protein, and fiber. This will give you a feeling of fullness, reduce late night hunger and prepare your body to slow down and get ready for a good night sleep.
Learn to Say “NO”
There are a lot of people out there who express their love a bit less through words and more through food. If you reject the food that they offer, it would be like rejecting their love. And because of that, they might even feel hurt.
On the other hand, eating when you are already full can be a compliment to the cook but it’s no favor to your waistline. So when you are at somebody’s place or in the restaurant, and your relative or friend force you to eat, just say “no” in a way they don’t feel bad.
Avoid Visiting Restaurants Late at Night
Obesity has become a socially contagious disease. It spreads from person to person almost like a virus. It spreads from family members and friends. You often learn and adopt your friend’s eating habits. So avoid visiting restaurants late at night and stop eating high-calorie food at night with friends and family members.
Brush Your Teeth If You Feel Like Snacking Late at Night
Have you ever eaten a chocolate chip cookie or a platter of nachos right after brushing your teeth? When your mouth feels fresh and clean, you will be less likely to eat immediately.
Keep Your Evenings Interesting
Many people snack at night because they're bored. Keep yourself busy with some activity and you'll find it easier to refrain from mindless snacking. Take a night class, plan an evening exercise session, go for a walk, meet friends or call a friend as such activities will distract you from late eating habits.
- A glass of whey protein shake
- A protein bar
- A glass of warm milk
- Handful of almonds
- Fresh fruits like apples, watermelon, oranges and papaya
- 1 cup of herbal tea
- Salad made with raw vegetables like lettuce, tomato, beet, spinach, cucumber and carrots.
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If you feel that having a small meal can help you get good sleep, you can pick one option from above and have it before you go to bed.