What Happens If You Eat Late at Night?
In this post, you’re going to learn about what happens if you frequently eat late at night.
We’ll discuss the effects of late-night eating on weight, sleep, and cognitive functions.
Here’s the thing: sometimes, things happen and we tend to eat late at night. That’s okay.
But if it becomes a habit, repeated over and over again, it can cause a lot of health problems.
Let’s get started.
You are more likely to gain weight
Most people do not want to gain weight. We’d rather maintain our weight. Incidentally, weight gain directly impacts our health.
When our weight is beyond ideal, we become more vulnerable to diseases. These diseases include diabetes, joint pain, and cardiovascular illnesses.
Eating late at night doesn’t help to maintain your weight.
The problem is because calories you eat late at night isn’t able to digest better, it gets stored in the body as fat. This leads to an increase in weight gain.
Research shows that walking after eating helps metabolism. Not only are you able to digest food faster, but also you prevent unnecessary weight gain.
Another reason is that eating late at night can affect the hours you sleep and the quality as well.
And studies have shown that poor sleep can lead to weight gain.
You may have poor sleep
When you eat late at night, especially before bed, you increase the risk of acid reflux. This is when your stomach struggles to digest the food you ate.
Poor digestion, coupled with the pressure from the food inside the digestive tract causes a problem. It can lead to the loosening of Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES).
When this happens, acid from the stomach and undigested food sneak back up into the esophagus.
This uncomfortable feeling means you’re going to struggle to get a good night’s sleep.
Studies show that over time, sleep deprivation can also affect the type of food you’re interested in.
More specifically, lack of sleep will cause your brain to crave for foods that have too much sugar and lack any nutritional value.
You’re likely to experience GERD
Let me explain what happens when you eat late at night in relation to GERD.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a common issue that often causes stomachache early in the morning.
This condition worsens up when you lie down because of the stomach juices and food back up into the esophagus from the stomach.
Burping or heartburn is one of the common symptoms of GERD.
In the morning, it’s likely to experience the symptoms of GERD in the form of your stomach hurting.
This is often the case when you sleep with your head not slightly elevated or supported with a pillow.
A study showed an experience like that could cause your stomach to hurt early morning.
You may find it difficult to lose weight
If your goal is to lose weight, eating late at night might make it more difficult to achieve that goal. There are two reasons for this.
One reason is that weight gain is directly impacted by what we eat and how much we exercise. If you eat late when you’re likely to be sedentary for the next few hours mean your metabolism will below.
This means you’ll not be burning as many calories. Late-night eating when it compounds as a habit leads to more calories not being burned.
A study in the Obesity Journal looked into how breakfast or dinner influenced weight loss.
The findings suggest that you’re more likely to lose weight eating a high-calorie breakfast and a low-calorie dinner. Instead of eating a high-calorie dinner and a low-calorie breakfast.
Can lead to eating disorders
When you consistently eat late at night, you get on a slippery slope of poor eating habits.
It could create the cycle of you having to depend or even crave for late-night food when you don’t necessarily want to.
Also, it leads to unhealthy snacking habits at night and Night Eating Syndrome (NES). NES is when you eat 25 percent of your daily food intake after your evening meal.
Several studies link NES with stress eating, weight gain, depression, and other anxieties.
You may have poor concentration
Your ability to focus on tasks and remember things may be affected if you eat late at night too often.
This is because poor eating habits can impact your circadian rhythm and nervous system. The circadian rhythm plays a vital role in helping us sleep and stay rested.
And neuroscience shows that sleep is a critical role in memory consolidation, recollection, and concentration.
This could have an impact on you when you eat late at night.