Chicago Personal Trainer Old Town

Will Eating at Night Really Make You Gain Weight?

Breakfast, lunch and dinner do the body good. But what about a late dinner, midnight snack and middle-of-the night munching?

Research consistently shows that people who eat late at night weigh more than those who eat all of their food earlier in the day. For example, people who eat most of their food at night have higher body mass indexes than people who eat earlier in the day, according to a 2007 study published in the International Journal of Obesity. And in one study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants who ate between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. gained more weight than those who kept their mouth shut during those hours.

But what is it about nighttime that makes the fat pack on?

Nothing Good Happens After 10 p.m

.

“Over the years, I have reviewed research that says that only the total caloric intake ingested over the day matters,” says board-certified bariatric physician Dr. Caroline Cederquist, author of "The MD Factor Diet." “I think this is the real crux of the issue. At midnight, people will rarely make chicken and salad. They will eat ice cream or chips, the high-fat or high-sugar foods that our bodies store so effectively as fat.”

In fact, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, nighttime eaters ate 12 percent more calories than those who ate only throughout the day. And in the International Journal of Obesity study, nighttime eaters participated in more binge-eating behaviors than those who didn’t eat after dinner.

Bingeing on high-sugar, high-fat foods causes you to go to bed with elevated blood sugar levels. At any time of day, these set the body up for subsequent sugar crashes and weight gain, with the body quickly storing excess sugar as fat, says Lori Zanini, a California-based registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with HealthCare Partners medical group. But, since your body uses less sugar as fuel when you’re lying in bed as opposed to running around, potentially more sugar winds up in your fat cells when you eat those foods late at night.

Throwing Off Your Rhythm



Still, the problems with late-night eating extend far past what people choose to eat before bed.

Animal research from Northwestern University suggests that eating at night can lead to weight gain – even if you don’t eat excess calories. Researchers claim this is because eating at night can interfere with the body’s circadian rhythms.

For instance, insulin – the hormone responsible for getting the sugar in your blood to your body’s cells for fuel – runs along with your circadian clock. So at night (when your body thinks you should be asleep and fasting), your body’s cells become more resistant to the hormone, according to a 2013 animal study in Current Biology. That means that eating large nighttime meals can cause especially high blood-sugar levels and, over time, fat accumulation, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.

What’s more, eating right before bed can disrupt your sleep to make next-day cravings a biological inevitability.

Eating, especially a large meal, late at night also increases your risk of heartburn. “Esophageal reflux commonly occurs when our stomachs are full and we lie down, allowing the stomach contents to reflux into the esophagus causing discomfort and affecting sleep,” Cederquist says.

She also notes that in patients who have metabolic dysfunction (common in overweight individuals) and eat high-carb meals before bed, blood-sugar levels nose-dive throughout the night. “This hypoglycemia wakes people right up from sleep and makes it hard to fall back to sleep after, disrupting normal sleep patterns,” she says.

After a bad night’s sleep, the body’s levels of appetite-triggering hormones increase, while hormones that blunt hunger drop, according to a 2013 study in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Peoples' bodies become resistant to insulin’s effects, raising the risk of fat accumulation, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Hence why one meta-analysis published in Sleep studying 634,511 people worldwide found that those who frequently miss out on sleep suffer from weight gain and obesity.

Eat Right at Night



“I usually recommend individuals stop eating approximately 1.5 to 2 hours before going to bed to allow for digestion. Since we digest our food better when we are upright, this allows our body to truly rest and repair while we are sleeping in preparation for the next day,” Zanini says.

“Still, even if it’s late at night, if an individual is hungry, he or she should eat. It’s important to listen to our body’s hunger cues at all times,” she says. Going hungry will set you up for low blood sugar levels, intense cravings and binging once you finally do eat.

If that’s you, fight the urge to reach for high-fat, high-sugar goods and opt for a healthy protein-packed snack. “That way, the food will be much less likely to elevate blood sugar and then cause a rapid fall in the early morning hours,” Cederquist says. Zanini recommends reaching for almonds, low-fat cottage cheese and tomatoes, Greek yogurt with cinnamon or vegetables dipped in hummus or guacamole.

Copyright 2015 U.S. News & World Report

****If you ever need more weight loss tips, never hesitate to send me an email (michael@michaelmoodyfitness.com). I'm a personal trainer in Chicago and I've been serving weight loss personal training clients since 2005.

Picture: Womenshealthmag.com

Article Credit:
Author: K. Aleisha Fetters, U.S. News & World Report
Will Eating at Night Really Make You Gain Weight?
Weight loss and late night eating while meeting with a Chicago personal trainer.
 

99 Ways to Redefine Yourself Today

Here is the master list of intent from my self-improvement book, Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness. Use it to set your path in 2019.

1. Believe that you can redefine yourself.
2. Create a business plan for your life.
3. Become a human scientist and study the physical, mental, and emotional you.
4. Make it a point to understand yourself and others.
5. Commit to this journey and don’t take the easy way out.
6. Become an outside observer to the mechanics of your mind and think about your thinking.
7. Ask yourself the tough questions and answer honestly.
8. Practice looking at yourself objectively.
9. Trust your instincts, your gut, and your perspective, but know where they stem from.
10. Don’t be a bystander in the course of life.
11. Adopt the mantra “Keep it Simple”.
12. Write your new mantra on a post-it note and place it in numerous places as a reminder.
13. Confront your inner influences.
14. Approach new ideas with an open mind.
15. Realize that you’re not alone.
16. Practice mindfulness.
17. Teach yourself to wake up to life around you—and inside of you—at any given moment.
18. Schedule alerts throughout the day to remind you to “take a breath”.
19. Listen to your inner voice.
20. Catch yourself making negative statements about you while randomly doing other things and write them down.
21. Don’t analyze yourself.
22. Filter your subconscious messages.
23. Create a list of positive messages and repeat them to yourself daily.
24. Face your inner self.
25. Remove the invisible obstructions that hold you back from achieving personal success.
26. Become a detective and collect the truth of a moment, observing yourself and every movement, sight, touch, scent, and sound of the world.
27. Gather evidence for the truth without judgment.
28. Don’t take a leap of faith without stopping first and observing the moment.
29. Accept that you don’t know everything.
30. Stop the train of life and pick up the bits and pieces around you every once in awhile.
31. Remain aware before making a decision, judgment or movement and commit to a higher state of living.
32. Accept the real perfections and imperfections of the world.
33. Soak in the aura of a moment wherever you are as often as possible.
34. Don’t dwell on the imperfections of you, your situation, or your surroundings.
35. Remove yourself from a situation when necessary (despite your emotional investment).
36. Don’t fixate on imperfect pieces of life that are unchangeable at the moment.
37. Don’t construct a rose-colored reality to mask the blight and scathing.
38. Accept things in their current state, including the blight and scathing.
39. Sometimes listen to your subconscious when it taps you on the shoulder.
40. Sometimes ignore your subconscious when it taps you on the shoulder with the same negative message.
41. Remember this quote by Frederick Douglass, a former slave and leader in the abolitionist movement. Accept that what you discover isn’t always the easiest to handle (and that’s okay): “…I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out. In moments of agony, I envied my fellow slaves for their stupidity. I often wished myself a beast.”
42. When you don’t accept it, tell yourself again and again and again that you should.
43. Quit complaining and do something.
44. Accept your ‘selfish friends’ as they are and ignore their ‘selfish’ tendencies. Discuss with them how their actions make you feel or begin dismantling your friendship.
45. Accept that the president (insert Republican, Democrat, or Independent here) is the leader of the United States. If you don’t support them then either: get involved with politics, make a grassroots effort for change, or ignore their political decisions.
46. Develop an evidence-based strategy to overcome challenges and choose the best possible decision.
47. Judge yourself fairly.
48. Don’t avoid looking at yourself.
49. Accept that obsessive, perfectionist ambition will lead to a perfect state of stress and an emotional unacceptance of your life.
50. Limit your distractions and listen to the people around you.
51. Don’t multitask (sorry).
52. Accept that feeling overwhelmed or frustrated is the result of your perspective.
53. Think rationally about the challenges you face daily.
54. Identify the fears that steer your behavior.
55. Refuse to allow insecurities to steer your behavior.
56. Tell yourself that you’re strong enough to face your fears again.
57. Tell yourself that your insecurities are irrational.
58. Find the root of your insecurities and write down the evidence against these irrational claims.
59. Extinguish Your Insecurities.
60. Don’t worry what people think unless you request for their input.
61. Accept people’s input, but remember you don’t always have to agree with their opinion or approach.
62. Leash and manage your emotional output.
63. Develop a cool head that will allow you to see the whole picture without a filter.
64. Recognize what drives your emotions and the coping behaviors that result.
65. Accept that you failed to reach these goals once before, and you may fail again.
66. Regain control over your life.
67. Feel confident about your approach, accepting the consequences, and adapting whenever and wherever needed.
68. Take control of the trends, patterns, and little idiosyncrasies that make up your world.
69. Don’t say “It is what it is” unless you’ve fully investigated yourself and the possible solutions.
70. Accept that improving a relationship might mean adapting or leaving it.
71. Identify the areas in your personal life in which you feel helpless.
72. Find control over your happiness at work.
73. Take control over your position and reshape it in a way that brings fulfillment to you.
74. Reevaluate your role in the company.
75. Change or redefine your position so that it fosters autonomy.
76. Request a position that values your creativity and judgment.
77. Understand your decision-making process.
78. Control the external influence on your decisions.
79. Convince yourself that you can change your environment.
80. Approach new problems with confidence.
81. Identify the problem accurately and specifically.
82. Consider as many solutions as possible and their implications.
83. Choose the best solution and then act.
84. Accept that making mistakes is part of the learning process and sometimes we have to make them repeatedly before we notice they’re a problem.
85. Accumulate wisdom through error.
86. Change bad habits by inserting a new routine, keeping the old cue, and delivering the old reward.
87. Accept that you already live by a set of rules.
88. Redefine your boundaries based on your needs (not your wants).
89. Create conversations with others.
90. Realign your perspective with your purpose—what you feel you were meant to do.
91. Create goals to maintain your positive focus.
92. Create a bucket list.
93. Slow down your life.
94. Treat life as an adventure and explore the unknowns.
95. Smile more often.
96. Share wisdom with others.
97. Give people the benefit of the doubt more often than not.
98. Help someone when you notice it.
99. Be your best self.

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
99 Ways to Redefine Yourself
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
Self-improvement book by Chicago personal trainer Michael Moody

Self-improvement book by Chicago personal trainer Michael Moody