Do you struggle with late night snacking?

Do you struggle with late night snacking?

Netflix and binge have been an equation in lockdown, especially at night. Many people feel like eating around 11.00 pm when they are 2 -3 hours past their dinner. Usually, late-night snacking is considered as an extra meal over and above your calorie requirement

It is considered unhealthy because these meals are not planned, we usually tend to eat whatever is available at hand. That includes some sugar-laden sweets and salty snacks. Let us find out whether late-night snacks are really unhealthy? 

Say you had a day full of meetings and you hardly had any time for eating, the only meal you have had is breakfast. By the time you have dinner, it is already 7.00 pm. You have been sedentary through the day and you know you are totally off the track in case of food, but hey!! it happens and you let it go, around 11.00 pm, your stomach starts growling and you get up in between your Netflix series to check on whether there is anything to eat in the refrigerator. After a couple of chocolates and a sandwich later you realize that this is the third day in a row when you are eating late at night.

Why do we tend to do late-night snacking?

Many dieticians and nutritionists claim that restrictive food habits later result in late-night snacking. In the above example, it is skipping the meals during the day which has triggered it, not to forget, the Netflix series. But, is late-night snacking really unhealthy? yes and maybe not. 

Psychology today makes a very valid point, it says if you are not providing your body with nutritious food during the day, through the night the body would definitely ask for more. Let us not forget that you need a lot of energy during the day and when you are totally starved, the brain stops discriminating with food, as the starving leaves it in the perception of an emergency.

Long days, tough situations may also trigger this feeling of “Let me have one donut more’ kind of situation, where for the first one you are truly hungry and the second one is a result of a self-reward ( which might not be needed by the body). 

All the research aside, I have never watched anybody binging on fruits. I binged on 3 apples last night said nobody ever. 🙂 

Should you feel guilty of Late night snacking? 

The answer is no! my way of tackling this guilt is to prepare for the next day so impeccably that there is no room for late-night snacking. It happens to all of us. The next thing you should think about is how can I get back on track and how quickly I can do that. 

Once in a while, it is absolutely fine to have a late-night snack. But if it is recurrent you might just find the cause. Here are some questions you should ask yourself: 

  1. Did you have a very hard day? 
  2. Did you skip your meals throughout the day? 
  3. Did you have a confronting situation at work? or at home? 
  4. Did you sleep well last night?
  5. Are you anxious or bored with something? 
  6. Are you eating way too less than your calorie requirement?
  7. Are you avoiding too many food groups and craving them off late? 
  8. Are you on a very strict fitness regime?
  9. Are you going through premenstrual syndrome or Periods?
  10. What do you think can make you eat well throughout the day? 

If you answer these questions and find that it is the food which seems to be the solution to all your problems, the first step is to plan your meals in such a way that you do not miss your meals.

Creating a nightly self-care routine can just make your night better.

Make sure you drop all the gadgets before a couple of hours of sleep. That does mean no Netflix. Plan your day wisely to get out of the vicious circle of Late night snacking and binge eating.


Snehal Joshi

Snehal is a Certified Nutrition Coach by National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is writing about her persuits of Nutrition Science since last 4 years.

  • Jeanine Byers
    Posted at 00:47h, 13 September Reply

    Love the wisdom and kindness in this post! I’m a night owl and I actually plan my late night snacks now that I am trying to lose weight, so that I can have healthier snacks n hand than the ones I would normally eat. Instead of cookies and ice cream sandwiches, now it’s more likely to be popcorn and yogurt. But I do eat brunch more often than b’fast, so my late night snack sometimes turns out to be my third meal. When I manage snacks during the day, or three god meals, I am definitely less hungry come night time. On the other hand, when you say, “let me have one more doughnut,” I have to confess I resemble that remark. 😉

    • admin
      Posted at 12:50h, 13 September Reply

      Jeanine my friend, I am glad that you felt the post is kind. 🙂 It is so wise to plan the late night snacks.

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