We have all experienced late night snacking.
Sitting on the couch, watching TV and getting a little peckish, perhaps dinner just didn’t cut it.
Having an occasional snack post dinner is not necessarily a bad thing however there are limitations.
See below some recommendations for late night eating:
Make sure your snack is not packed full of sugar or sweeteners to prevent a sugar high before bedtime as this can affect sleep
Making sure your snack is not too heavy directly before bed. Eating something heavy causes you to feel uncomfortable impairing your sleep.
Ensure you are not eating directly before bedtime. In the evenings, we get tired and our body temperature lowers to conserve energy. When we eat, our body has to raise our body temperature to stimulate digestive juices and digest the food consumed. Leave approximately 2-3 hours after eating before going to bed.
While we sleep, our body is detoxifying and clearing toxins ready to be removed the next day. Eating before bedtime can reduce your detoxification time and cause an increase of toxins recirculating in your system.
Ensure you do not lie down directly after eating. Lying down after eating for some people can cause reflux or gastro-oesphoageal reflux disease (GORD). Eating triggers stomach acid production and lying down right after can cause acid to flow back up the oesophagus.
Continual eating in the evening may lead to weight gain. Eating in the evening when we have less time to burn off may lead to weight gain. In addition, the longer we stay up, the more likely we are to eat.
So does this mean we shouldn’t eat after dinner? That we can never have a snack?
No is the answer to this, but following some of the following tips may assist:
Choose something light and not sugar laden, perhaps a square of dark chocolate, or some fruit.
Make sure your dinner contains a fist size amount of protein to ensure your hunger is kept at bay.
Ensure you have drank enough water, sometimes thirst can disguise itself as hunger.
Consume tryptophan rich foods for dinner which can promote sleepiness later in the evening – nuts, seeds, eggs, lentils, fish, oats.
Ensure you are eating enough earlier in the day, you may be hungry because you have not consumed enough in the morning.
If you are tired, go to bed. We know that staying up for longer, increases the amount of food you consume. Also the more tired you are the following day, the more likely you are to consume more food to compensate for the lack of energy.
If you find yourself sitting on the couch wanting food every night, perhaps mix it up. Go for a walk after dinner, play a game of cards, read a book, take a bath, even sit on another couch in your lounge room to break up the routine!
Feel like you are a habitual evening snacking and want some assistance?
Book in for a consultation today to support your health.