Do you always have late dinner? Or heavy snacking before bed? For many of us, this night-time meal is the most substantial meal of the day.
But did you know that this can be a big problem, according to physician Jamie A. Koufman.
Koufman describes how late-night dining, especially meals consisting of a heavy meal followed by little or no activity, can wreck up the systems our bodies rely on to process food. Proper digestion is important for absorbing the nutrients in what we consume, and discarding the things we don’t.
Late night eating, can also worsen acid reflux, a common condition that causes everything from indigestion, heartburn, hoarseness, coughing and asthma.
Koufman’s thinking, which was backed by decades of medical advice, has been borne out by recent research. The 2005 research of the nighttime eating habits of 350 people found, that eating dinner within 3 hours of bedtime was linked with their risk of developing reflux symptoms, even after controlling for body mass index, smoking and other factors that could affect heartburn.
But If You are Not Eating More, Just Eating Later, Will You Still gain weight?
The answer is most probably yes. Experts have learned a lot about the relationship between weight and in recent years. Evidence suggests that your body knows when it is supposed to be awake and getting food, and when it is supposed to be asleep and not eating anything.
Therefore, feeding it at the wrong time could meant trouble on the scale! The enzymes which are involved in fatty acid oxidation, are highly circadian. They know when they are supposed to be metabolizing glucose as per Kristen Eckel-Mahan, PhD, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
So What Do We Do?
Changing meal times can be a tricky process, especially when it seems we have to erode decades of history in the process.
If you normally do not eat lot during the day, it might help to start snacking healthily, so you do not overeat once you get home.
Also the next time you know you will be home late, try this trick, take a small, high-protein breakfast and do not skip lunch in the afternoon.
It is important to keep hard-boiled eggs handy or microwave a packet of instant oatmeal and stir in a few nuts. Remember to keep it light at first, so your body can adjust to regular mealtimes. Around 1pm or just about 4 hours after breakfast, grab a light meal such as a salad with chicken or fish.
So when you get home, you will be less hungry and more conscious about what you are eating. Avoid indigestion after dinner, bu doing some light activity, you can do the dishes, walk around the neighborhood and wash some laundry.