The human body handles nutrients differently depending on the time of day. For example, sugar tolerance is impaired in the evening leading to food craving. Consuming more calories in the evening predisposes people to more energy storage.
As the activity level declines towards the end of the day & we simply don’t expend as much energy after an evening meal in comparison to morning meals.
Reasons Why We Crave for the Foods and Drinks that are not “GOOD” for Weight Control
When we are stressed and cannot sleep, highcaloric/high carbohydrate food sources will temporarily lower our stress.
High caloric/highcarbohydrate foods provide a very temporary “feel-good” that is soon replaced with feelings of guilt, knowing that we have just done something to harm our health.
When we are awake late at night, there is often a boredom factor that occurs and we go to the freezer for ice cream or the pantry for cookies to break the boredom. Another sign of food craving.
When we watch television or stream shows on our computers late into the evening, an eventual boredom sets in and we will seek ways of breaking that boredom. This compels us to get up and go to where those “fun” snacks are…the freezer and pantry.
Certain internal body and brain chemicals cause us to crave high caloric/high carbohydrate foods and snacks will often be lowest in the evenings and highest in the mornings.
There are many body and brain chemicals that are involved with the sensations of hunger and satiety. Serotonin, leptins, ghrelins and cortisol play important roles in the feelings of hunger and carbohydrate cravings.
Women that are post-partum and/or breast feeding know very well those cravings that are so difficult to overcome.
3 Ways to Avoid the Late Night Eating Behavior
Try to get to bed early
“Morning people” tend to do much less damaging nocturnal eating/snacking than “night owls”. Lowering caffeine intake at night, relaxing activities such as listening to soft music and similar stress-reducing actions may allow for an earlier bedtime. No obsessive news watching!!!
Be prudent about what snacks/drinks are available in your freezer and pantry
When food shopping, go with a list and bring back the healthier choices.
Consult a Specialist
See if you have a chemical imbalance or some other medical reason why you are craving foods and snacking late at night.
With almost all ofthe risks for severe Covid infections revolving around poor weight control and co-morbidities such as high blood pressure, diabetes and lung disease, there has never been a more important time to focus on your weight.
As “nothing good happens after midnight”, it is best to have that last (smart) snack no later than 8:30 PM.