One of the easiest ways to achieve good health and wellbeing is by losing weight. But dropping weight is a hard job. You will not be able to shed the pounds with magic diet plans or by skipping meals. If you want to lose the stubborn fat and keep it away, then you will have to not only eat healthy and in controlled portions, but also exercise regularly and closely monitor your progress.
Eating healthy does not require you to starve. A filling breakfast that is nutritious and rich in fiber, healthy fats, carbs and protein will help you stay energetic through the day. The key is to have three balanced meals in a day and always choose healthy between-meals snacks like fruits, nuts or green smoothies.
One habit that can come in the way of your weight loss efforts is midnight snacking. Even though, nocturnal noshing alone cannot be held responsible for weight gain or obesity, it does contribute to both.
Most of us prefer fatty, sugary and calorie-dense foods for midnight munching. There is an irresistible temptation to reward your taste buds with guilty pleasures at midnight that you so mindfully stayed away from throughout the day.
A study published in Brain Imaging and Behavior journal says that your brain responds to food at a much slower rate at night. As a result, you feel the need to eat more to feel satiated and satisfied. So, the next time that leftover lasagna in your refrigerator beckons you, remember that it is your brain playing tricks on you and that you need to eat in moderation.
Also, the calories that you gain from pre-sleep snacks are not easily metabolized. Your body is in the sleep mode and the calories are not burned. As you sleep, these calories get stored in your body without being metabolized. Over a period of time, midnight snacking slowly brings back all the pounds you had lost through intense exercise and dieting.
Midnight snacking is not only detrimental to your dieting plan, but also has adverse effects on the vital organs in your body. Trans fats are abundantly found in processed snacks and junk food, and are harmful to the heart. High-calorie and oily food also increase bad cholesterol levels in the body.
Sugary snacks will result in an insulin spike in your body, thereby causing you to wake up hungry and famished. Binging on midnight snacks on a regular basis may cause you to develop insulin resistance, increase your vulnerability to type-2 diabetes, and may lead to obesity.
Also, do you know that your midnight culinary habit can lead to impaired memory function in the brain? A study conducted by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has concluded that eating at odd hours has a detrimental effect on memory and learning. The hippocampus in the brain is associated with cognition. Irregular eating was found to affect the molecular clock in the hippocampus in tests carried out on mice, resulting in poor cognitive performance. Disrupted sleep patterns were also noticed in the subjects.
Let’s look at how the major organs in our body respond to midnight snacks.