Be aware of..

Your internal clock! clock

Could your late night snacking lead to weight gain? Blame your ancestors. Ancient humans developed a survival mechanism for times of food scarcity, but that system can lead to significant weight gain today.

There are many factors that affect weight gain, principally diet and exercise, but the time of eating also has an effect. People who eat a lot in the evening, especially high calorie foods and beverages, are more likely to be overweight.

Studies found that the body’s circadian system, or internal clock, increase hunger and cravings for sweet, starchy, and salty foods in the evenings. Since less energy is expended after an evening meal, it is best to eat larger meals earlier in the day. If you stay up later, during a time when you are hungrier for high calorie foods, you are a lot more likely to eat during that time. You then store energy and get less sleep, both of which contribute to weight gain.

I try to have a bigger breakfast and lunch with a light dinner. It is very important to get enough sleep so your body can regenerate itself. You also need to give your body enough time to fully digest your food from the day before, so not eating after 7 at night and not eating until 6 in the morning is ideal.

Are you a late night snacker too? It is a tough habit to break, I know! What helped you to break this unhealthy habit? 

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  1. I haven’t broken it. I struggle with it every night.

  2. I don’t have to struggle every night getting enough snacks, your get up time is my go to bed time, so I eat when my mouth is empty, and at no other times..

  3. What happens if you don’t have a normal schedule? Like working the 4p – 12:30am shift. Bedtime isn’t really until around 4am.

    • Your Lighter Side says

      I think you should just adjust the hours to your actual schedule. Just do not eat 2-3 hours before your bedtime, whenever that might be.

  4. I’m still struggling with it too. Can’t bear to go to bed hungry. Psychological hang up…

  5. Dang, I have supper before bed too. Might have to kick this habit now – it’s going to be hard though.

  6. I tried weaning myself off the sweet stuff at night, a little at a time, switching to other things. I find that my anxiety creeps up at night, which is another factor for me wanting to eat. Now my habit is to eat either a piece of string cheese or a few unsalted almonds right before bed, if I’m feeling “hungry.” Then I’m eating something but also working with my own metabolism that does best with protein/fat as fuel. I tell myself, “If I don’t want cheese, then I don’t really want food.”

    • Your Lighter Side says

      Good tip, thanks for sharing!

      • william Anliker says

        I have always snacked at night, but in trying to lose weight I had to cut back on snacks, however I also have a saliva pumping problem and have to suck to get any.
        Now I take standard size pre-sliced slices of 3 Cheese, and sprinkle lightly with some of the various marinade and rubs that Grill Mate, and Krieger’s Grill time.
        I wait until they are on sale 10 for $10 and load up on the various flavors. I use them dry, in a sprinkle top shaker, and lightly cover the slices, and then dry the slices until they range from leather to quite hard. You can cut them with a scissors when they are at the leather stage, and then let them dry more if desired. If hard, I just break them into small pieces, And I store them in a Zip lock bag.
        Then I suck on a piece for a quick snack, as it takes some time for it to dissolve. So they fool my mind that I am getting a big snack. Works for me. And the sucking solves my saliva problem at the same time.
        P. S. The various flavors are also very good sprinkled DRY on eggs, potatoes, spaghetti squash. use your imagination, But don’t add more salt until you taste test them. Hawaiian Luau is very good on eggs for me.

  7. I’m an late afternoon/before dinner snacker. It’s the point of day when I have the least amount of resistance.

  8. My nutritionist RECOMMENDS a light snack about 1/2 hour before bed. The snack should include a healthy fat & a carbohydrate – such as cream cheese or peanut butter on 1/2 apple, or heavy cream on a small dish of berries. It helps stabilize blood sugar so you don’t wake up starving, & also helps you sleep better. It makes perfect sense. See more info. at

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