Why Midnight Snacking Is Harmful!
Going to the fridge late at night for something creamy, sweet, salty and comforting has become terribly common these days. Several restaurants offer midnight deliveries and it’s a popular track of advertising for snack foods. While it makes for some funny memes or conversations, nocturnal snacking is actually quite damaging for your health. This is because studies have indicated a potential link of night snacking to obesity and cardio metabolic disease. Insufficient and improper sleeping habits have shown to decrease the levels of leptin, the satiety hormone and to increase ghrelin, the hunger hormone. In addition to this, eating nutritionally deficient and low protein meals are also contributing factors to late-night snacking.
Night snacking tends to elevate blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain and acid reflux. Individuals indulging in late-night snacking are observed to lead more sedentary lifestyles with an insufficient exercise regimen. Thus, metabolic syndrome is the major concern with people such as these. Also, the lack of activity, increased caloric intake at night, fatigue caused due to insufficient sleep – all of this makes the person susceptible to diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases! So here are some simple steps to help reduce night-time snacking.
- Eat three balanced meals and two or three small snacks through the day; make sure your protein intake is equally distributed
- Practice portion control, especially at dinner time
- Replace processed snacks, chocolates and desserts and aerated drinks with fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, healthier homemade snacks and water
- Pay attention to your night-time routine – set an average bed time for yourself and family members
- Use a meditation app or sleep app on an iPod or tablet to help you maintain a proper sleep cycle
Just in case you feel hungry late at night, here are some good food options. But keep it in mind that it is important for you not to indulge in unhealthy snacking.
- Skimmed milk
- Dry fruits and nuts
- Whole fruits
- Corn cob
- Boiled sprouts chat
- Puffed rice with salads
- Baked vegetable chips
- Oats preparation