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Articles Fitness Nutrition

Late Night Snacking: 4 Reasons It's Ok

Nov 27, 2010

While sitting in front of the television right before bed, the urge to snack might strike and have you wandering into the kitchen to indulge in some late night snacking. But eating at night doesn’t have to spell doom for your diet. There are foods you can eat that can be a help to your diet and keep you on track to lose weight and keep a healthy lifestyle.

1. Keeps You Prepared for Morning Exercise

Eating a healthy, vitamin-rich food, such as a banana, before you sleep can prevent the natural overnight vitamin loss and energy depletion that sleep causes and allow you to retain extra stamina when you step outside for a morning run or some laps in the pool.

2. Prevents Binging

When reducing your calories during a diet or engaging in significant levels of exercise, your sense of hunger can become overpowering. The temptation to indulge in unhealthy snacking late at night can become especially potent after a day of low-calorie eating.

To counteract potentially dangerous late-night binges, you can plan ahead for a healthy, late-night snack. Knowing you won’t need to survive the entire night without a single bite to eat can be a great help in preventing a trip to the freezer for a gallon of ice cream at midnight. Choose strawberries or apple slices to conquer that sweet tooth or eat a handful of lightly salted almonds to satisfy a salty craving.

3. Keeps Your Metabolism Energized

Many dieters attempt to lose weight by thinking about the time they don’t spend eating, instead of concentrating on making the food they do eat nutritious and healthy. This means a dieter might buy into the often-suggested method of eating nothing past 6:00 PM. While this method might make sense for an individual who goes to sleep around 10:00 PM, it’s not unusual for the average adult to fall into bed far later than that.

If your bedtime hangs around midnight each night, there is no reason to halt eating a full six hours before you go to sleep. Eating a bowl of low-calorie popcorn or a sliced apple a few hours before you sleep will offer no ill effects and will help to keep your body out of “starvation mode.”

4. Enhances Vitamin Intake

During the day you will probably not go more than five hours without eating – even while dieting. Since lunch is usually eaten as soon as four hours after waking, and dinner is often consumed less than five hours after lunch, your body generally possesses a healthy level of vitamin and mineral activity during the day to keep your bones and muscles energized.

During the hours of sleep, on the other hand, your body will run low on its energy sources and vitamin levels will be depleted by the time you wake up. Eating a vitamin-rich food before you sleep will lessen the effect of overnight vitamin depletion.

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