We all have done it especially with our busy lives. Some of us come home around 8 pm and eat dinner. Then, shortly, go to bed. Some of us lose track of time due to obligations. Then, when we look up at the clock, it’s an hour before bedtime. Unfortunately, many of us do not know late eating aids to weight gain or plateaued results.
I found out about this a few years ago when reading a study about eating after 3 pm. (Ironically, I was eating ice cream as dinner an hour I’m supposed to be in bed while reading the study). The study mentioned people who ate their biggest meal after 3pm had a hard time losing weight while those who ate their biggest meal before 3 pm had better results.
Why is this so? Keeping our bodies in the upright position helps with proper digestion with the help of our friend called gravity. Gravity does most of the digestion work for us. Digesting in the laying down position can cause acid reflux, which another study shows is linked with weight gain.
Aside from gravity helping with digestions, there are other tips to keep in mind about late night eating.
#1: It takes about 2-3 hours for the stomach to empty.
#2: We should be eating 2-4 hours throughout the day to avoid late night binge eating.
#3: Eating fast while ravenous provides too little time for our brains to register that the body is full. It takes our brains about 20 minutes to process the feeling of fullness.
What happens if it’s a situation that is out of our control, and we end up eating late?
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Life happens. It is understandable. Some days are not as perfect from the other. Here are some tips to take into consideration when it comes to late night eating:
#1: Do not skip meals. Skipping meals is counterproductive and slows down our metabolism.
#2: Eat the right things. Avoid sugary items and processed carbohydrates. Opt for foods that have a slow digestibility rate, such as cottage cheese, natural peanut butter, and leafy vegetables.
#3: Don’t overdo it. We should not feel full after a late night meal.