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We're all guilty of late night munchies at some point. Here's why it's bad for health and weight loss.

Is eating food late at night bad?

Fueling our body with nutrient rich foods throughout the day is vital. But what about post-dinner or late night snacking?

Well, research consistently shows that people who eat late at night weigh more than those who eat all of their food earlier in the day.

Why is this? Chances are that people aren't in the kitchen at 11 pm making a salad. They are eating chocolate, ice cream, chips and other high-fat or high-sugar foods that our bodies store so effectively as fat.

late-night eating could lead to weight gain

in the International Journal of Obesity study, nighttime eaters participated in more binge-eating behaviors than those who didn’t eat after dinner.

And binging on high-sugar, high-fat foods causes you to go to bed with elevated blood sugar levels. At any time of day, these set the body up for subsequent sugar crashes and weight gain, with the body quickly storing excess sugar as fat, says Lori Zanini, a California-based registered dietitian.

Also, since your body uses less sugar as fuel when you’re lying in bed as opposed to running around, more sugar potentially winds up in your fat cells when you eat those foods late at night.

late-night eating could disrupt sleep and do worse

Eating right before bed can disrupt your sleep and make next-day cravings inevitable.  

Eating, especially a large meal, late at night also increases your risk of heartburn. Esophageal reflux commonly occurs when our stomachs are full and we lie down, allowing the stomach contents to reflux into the esophagus causing discomfort and affecting sleep.

And after a bad night’s sleep, the body’s levels of appetite-triggering hormones increase, while hormones that supress hunger drop, according to a 2013 study in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Insulin– the hormone responsible for getting the sugar in your blood to your body’s cells for fuel – runs along with your circadian clock. So at night (when your body thinks you should be asleep and fasting), your body’s cells become more resistant to the hormone, according to a 2013 animal study in Current Biology. So, eating large nighttime meals can cause especially high blood-sugar levels and, over time, fat accumulation, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.

TAKEAWAYS

It's always best to wrap up your eating atleast 1.5-2 hours before bed.
Eating late at night can lead to weight gain and munching on the wrong foods at this time can often lead to worse health problems.
Here are the 5 best ways to stop late night cravings.

If you feel it's an ongoing issue that interferes with your health, be sure to seek both emotional and professional support.
But if you must satisfy those cravings at all costs, check out this list of the best things to eat before bed. Good night!

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