Did you know that eating late at night can be harmful to your health? Eating late can increase insulin and glucose levels and even weight gain, making for a restless night according to Water for Health. Here are a few reasons you may want to avoid eating after 7:00pm.
Increase risk of heart issues. Research has found that people who eat after 7:00pm have an increased risk of heart issues , including high blood pressure and can lead to a heart attack. A study showed that people who ate after 7:00pm retained a higher blood pressure than people who did not eat after 7:00 pm (Ben Spencer).
Can cause you to be hungrier the next day. What? No way! This is due to the insulin release after a meal which causes a production of glucose and triggers the hormone ghrelin (the hunger hormone). Ghrelin uses the fasting period between 8pm and 8am to reset itself. (Alexander)
Could cause acid reflux. Ever have that yucky feeling and needing to drink something because your throat is not happy? Yeah, that could be caused from eating late. If you eat too late, acid from your full stomach may leak into your esophagus and causes acid reflux. (Alexander)
Can cause sleep issues. When you eat, your digestive system has to work to process what you consumed. This could cause your blood sugar to crash and raise cortisol levels while you sleep, increasing your chance of waking up in the night. Energy depends on the sleep cycle, when this cycle is disrupted you become more tired in your daily activities. (Grens)
Ways to curve your late-night snack attack (Behl)
- Eat a balanced dinner before 7:00pm.
- Do not buy junk food or only buy what you are going to eat at that moment so you will not have it handy to eat later.
- Drink water and wait 10 to 15 minutes to see if your thirst was masked as hunger.
- De-stress before heading to bed. Being stressed can worsen your cravings for comfort foods. Have a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Eat a small healthy snack, limit carbohydrates.
Small healthy snacks ideas
- Half a banana with nuts or peanut butter, or banana chips and almond butter as a dip.
- A few whole grain crackers with hummus or avocado.
- Cottage cheese and fruit.
- One hard boiled egg and couple whole grain crackers.
- Avocado on toast, add chia seeds if you are feeling fancy (Angie eats this for breakfast with an egg).
- Sting cheese (This is Karina’s go to for a healthy snack).
- Veggies and hummus (Courtney snacks on this).
5 Reasons Not to Eat Late at Night. (2017, August 21). Retrieved June 12, 2018, from https://www.water-for-health.co.uk/our-blog/2017/08/5-reasons-not-to-eat-late-at-night/
Alexander, S. (2017, June 06). Why you shouldn’t eat late at night, according to science. Retrieved June 12, 2018, from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/shouldnt-eat-late-night-according-science/
Behl, M. S. (2018, January 16). Eating Late At Night: 6 Reasons It Is Bad & Tips To Stop It | Sepalika. Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://www.sepalika.com/living-well/eating-late-at-night/
Ben Spencer Medical Correspondent For The Daily Mail. (2016, August 31). Why you should NEVER eat after 7pm. Retrieved June 11, 2018, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3767231/Why-NEVER-eat-7pm-Late-night-meals-increases-risk-heart-attack-stroke.html
Grens, K. (2013, September 1). Out of Sync. Retrieved June 11, 2018, from https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/37269/title/Out-of-Sync/