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The Downsides to Midnight Snacking

Food - general


Whether we can’t get to sleep, are up all night working, or just need a midnight pick-me-up, the late-night snack is always there for us.

When we reach for the foods that are high in sugar and fat it can provide us with an immediate sense of relief and satisfaction. However, eating these foods late at night can have several negative effects on our bodies and mental health.

Here are five downsides of midnight snacking.

Trouble Getting to Sleep

While some foods like turkey or a warm glass of milk can help you relax come night time, common midnight snacks like coffee or chocolate can negatively affect your sleeping patterns.

The high level of caffeine in these foods can contribute to insomnia and keep you tossing and turning all night.

Hurts Your Weight Loss

Studies have shown that late night eating can disrupt our metabolism and leave us with less energy the following day.

When we snack on sugar and fat-filled treats before bed time our bodies are unable to metabolise more fats than carbohydrates overnight.

This means you will find it hard to burn calories the morning after that midnight cake!

High Levels of Stress

When we stress we often head to the kitchen. Ironically however, eating unhealthy foods late at night can in fact cause mood swings, anxiety and depression.

Eating more than the recommended amounts of fat can not only have negative effects on our bodies, but also our brains.

Studies have shown that consistent excessive fat consumption has led to signs of depression and anxiety.

Loss of Money

If you’re heading out for a ‘cheap’ dessert once or twice a week it may not seem like a lot, but those numbers will add up and cause a dent in your wallet.

The same goes for ordering take-away when it’s too late to cook dinner. Restaurant meals are approximately 300% more expensive than a home-cooked meal, so try to make the drive-thru trip a once in a while thing instead of a weekly occurrence.

You May Get GERD

Consuming too much food before bedtime can lead to instances of heartburn, and in some cases, this can turn into gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD).

The stomach needs roughly four to five hours to completely empty after a meal. It’s recommended to eat three hours before you go to sleep, so fight off the desire for the midnight snack and hit the hay.