The belief that eating immediately before going to bed can cause weight gain has caused many people to totally conclude that eating before bed is bad. In contrast to this, some health experts argued that eating before bed can actually support weight loss.
What then is the truth about eating before bed? The truth is that, whether it is good or bad actually depends on the individual. We all have different body chemistries and thus will react to certain things differently.
In this article, we are going to walk you through some basic facts you should know about eating before bed:
1. The issue is controversial
Over the years, this particular issue about eating before bed has led to many controversies. Biochemically, one could wisely reason that eating immediately before bed could result in weight gain.
The basal metabolic rate of our body usually slows down while we sleep, thus, the food eaten immediately before bed will most likely be stored as fat.
However, many health experts have shown that eating before bed is not bad and may even help in weight loss. In fact, this idea was supported by evidence.
Although there is no particular physiological evidence to prove that eating before bed causes weight gain, yet several studies have claimed that weight gain could be a consequence of eating before bed.
2. Eating before bed may lead to bad habits
Although there is no physical evidence to support why eating before bed can cause weight gain, yet studies have actually shown that people who are fond of eating before bed are more likely to gain weight.
Gaining weight in this sense is a result of eating too much before bed which becomes an unhealthy habit for the individual. People who take extra snacks while watching TV at night are likely to develop an unhealthy habit of overeating.
Certain individuals have formed a bad habit of keeping themselves awake at night to complete a task by eating so many snacks while performing the task. These people are more likely to gain weight because the extra meal is equivalent to extra calories, hence, extra fats stored in the body.
Eating immediately before bed can also change the normal feeding cycle. When you eat before bed, you tend to feel less hungry the next morning and may decide to skip breakfast. This may make you decide to go without food during the day and then have to eat a lot of food at night again.
It is thus obvious that eating immediately before bed can lead to overall unhealthy eating habits.
3. Eating before bed may cause stomach acid reflux
Certain individuals experience stomach acid reflux, a condition whereby the stomach acid splashes back into the throat. This may be due to Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Individuals with this disease are advised not to eat immediately before going to bed.
Lying down immediately after eating makes it easier for stomach acid to regurgitate back into your throat. Therefore, if you are a patient of gastroesophageal reflux disease, you should try to avoid eating food in less than three hours before going to bed.
Health benefits of eating before bed
Due to the differences in our body chemistries, it has been shown that eating before bed may be beneficial to certain individuals. Some of the potential benefits are:
1. Weight loss in certain individuals.
It has been shown by health experts that rather than causing weight gain, eating before bed actually helps certain individuals to lose weight.
Some evidence suggests that having a well-structured snack after the usual dinner can help certain individuals to manage their appetite and therefore prevent overeating during the day. Preventing overeating will then result in weight loss for these people.
2. Maintenance of morning blood sugar.
People with hypoglycemia may frequently experience low blood sugar in the morning. Their liver may find it difficult to produce the extra glucose needed to start the day in the morning.
Studies have shown that a few snacks before bedtime may help to stabilize blood sugar in the following morning. Therefore, if you are one of those people who experience low blood sugar in the morning, you may consider adding more calories before bed.
However, You may consider speaking with a health expert to know what is best for you.
3. Better sleep.
We are not the same, therefore some people sleep better when they eat before going to bed. In fact, for this category of people, not eating anything before going to bed may mean having insomnia.
If you are among this category of people, you may consider taking an appropriate amount of snacks before going to bed to have a better sleep.
You really do not have to do some things just because other people are doing it and it's working fine for them. Although eating immediately before going to bed is fine for most people, yet it may lead to certain health conditions in some individuals.
Therefore, know what is best for your body chemistry, or you may consider visiting a nutrition expert to get the best advice about your eating pattern.