Eating late at night and rushing through meals are habits that can lead to obesity. Evenings can be a sedentary time for many people. The combination of being inactive and consuming large numbers of calories can lead to gaining unwanted pounds.
Eating Late at Night and Obesity
Although late-night eating does not lead to weight gain in all cases, it is a habit that can make it difficult to maintain weight and prevent obesity. Nighttime hours are usually sedentary hours. You might spend it watching television, reading a book or surfing the web. Your metabolism slows down during these hours. When you eat large amounts of food at night, the chances are greater that the calories will be stored as fat.
If you do not eat all day and meet all of your daily caloric needs at night, this might not lead to weight gain all on its own. The problem appears when you have eaten regular meals and snacks all day and nighttime eating consists of excess calories. This problem is even greater if the foods you are choosing at night are high in fat and sugar.
Eating late, for some people, is due to boredom, stress or depression. If you have nothing to do in the evenings, you might be more inclined to eat. Some foods such as chocolate and potato chips can make you feel happier. The problem is that the enjoyment of food is temporary. The calories will stay with you unless you work them off.
Eating Fast and Obesity
Another eating habit that can lead to obesity is eating quickly. This behavior is sometimes due to being distracted and unaware. If you're engaged in a television show or are busy browsing the web, you are very likely not paying attention to how fast you're eating. It takes the brain about 20 minutes or longer to register that you are full. When you eat fast, you run a much higher risk of overeating. By the time you realize this, you might be full and feeling lethargic from eating too much.
Ways to Curb Nighttime Eating
If you realize that you're prone to eating late at night, think carefully about the reasons. Are you bored at night? If so, plan activities that involve spending time with others or engaging in hobbies that you enjoy. If you are eating due to feeling stressed, find ways to reduce your stress. Talk to your loved ones if there is something bothering you. Read insightful books and articles to help you relax. Meditation is a useful practice for reducing stress. Exercise is always an effective strategy for reducing your stress and it will help you to burn off unwanted calories.
Eating late is a habit better eliminated if you want to lose weight and keep it off in the long term. Try to eat the majority of your calories earlier in the day. When you do eat at night, limit your calories and try to eat slowly to avoid eating too much.