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?