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Why We Eat Too Much at Night

by: Stefan Simonovic

[Source: Flickr]

People are known for having many weird and unexplainable habits that can sometimes have negative physical and psychological consequences. For example, some of us will neglect our social lives entirely thanks to the habit of playing video games online or because we've hooked on cougar dating sites. On the other hand, there are people who can’t go to bed before they stop by their fridges at night, which often results in gaining some extra pounds.

While the former is not that common, the latter is something many people experience regularly. Eating at night may seem like a harmless habit, but it can actually lead to some pretty unwanted outcomes like already mentioned excessive weight gain or even insomnia. This is why we want to talk about the reasons behind night eating and some potential tricks on how to stop it.

Physiological Factors

If somebody asked you to guess the reasons behind a person’s night eating, you would probably assume that it has something to do with that person’s psyche and habits. Although both of these factor in to the problem, having the urge to eat at night is more of a physiological nature.

As it happens, a certain study from 2013 has proven that our internal clock is the main culprit for night eating. Researchers at OHSU and Harvard have tested 12 non-obese individuals and their eating habits, only to discover that all of them, despite being completely healthy, show that they have cravings for starchy, salty and sweet foods once evening hours begin, usually around 8:00 PM.

The circadian system, a.k.a. the human’s internal clock is something our species has developed over the course of thousands of years. Upon further research, the two teams figured out that night eating was, in fact, something our great-great-great ancestors did as a form of storing fat in order to increase their chances of survival.

How to Stop it?

Being a caveman and having to eat at night to gain fat and stay alive is fine and all, but night eating doesn’t really have a place in modern civilization since we no longer have to protect ourselves from the elements and wild beasts. So, the question remains: how to stop night eating?

The first step toward the elimination of night eating would be breaking your patterns. For instance, if you have a habit of sitting at your laptop in the kitchen in the evening after which you have to go to the fridge in order to grab something to snack on, move your laptop to the bedroom and thus help your mind disassociate laptop-time from night eating-time.

Furthermore, you can pre-plan meals so that you won’t feel hungry in the evening at all, giving your body absolutely no reason to crave food at such a late time.

Have you experienced some of the night eating related issues? How did you fight them? You can tell us all about it in the comment section below!

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

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