To Lose Weight, Lose Your Late Night Snack Habit

Perhaps you are in the middle of a late night Netflix marathon when your tummy starts to talk to you. Before you know it, you're most of the way through that bag of chips or that pint of ice cream. How bad could it be, really? The answer, according to a study found in Obesity, is bad. When you stay up late your body's circadian rhythm starts hormone production that causes increased appetite, cravings for sweets, and fat storage. However, little is known about how exactly all this works, it is believed that these rhythms and hormones helped protect our ancestors in lean times. Those who were better able to store fat, were more likely to survive. Not so today, when our next meal is typically easy to find. Here are three ways to help keep yourself in check:

Eat full meals during the day

Don't take a pass on breakfast or go easy at lunch in an effort to save calories. Research has suggested that eating too few calories during the day can lead to over consumption at night. A study in Cell Metabolism has suggested that confining calories to daytime hours and eating three square meals a day can help prevent weight gain, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Go to bed earlier

Getting to bed earlier has a positive impact on hormones and weight loss. Getting enough sleep may actually help prevent late night cravings as well as making it easier to exercise and work your willpower during the day.

Choose snacks and television shows wisely

A study at Cornell University found that people who were given popcorn while watching a sad movie ate 55% more than those watching comedy. During action movies, viewers timed their consumption with the pace of the action. Maybe, change the channel if things get too intense. If you absolutely MUST snack, put something healthy on the table. A veggie plate and some hummus will be far less damaging than your go to ice cream. Can these small behaviour changes help you? Share your thoughts in a comment.  

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