Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

When it comes to weight loss, there are a million different diets, rules, recipes and workout routines out there to help you. They tell you how to eat, how much to eat, what to eat and if you eat too much, how to lose what you gained because of what you ate. But no one seems to tell you when to eat. Sure there are the staple times of the day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, but what about snacks? Better yet, what about the time of day when most people snack? What about late night snacking?For years, we have been told that we should eat three square meals a day, and not to eat your last meal after 6 or 7 o’clock. But the truth is, if you eat your last meal at 6 or 7, soif you stay up late that night, you will get hungry again.

So what do you do? Studies have shown that people who eat late at night when their bodies are meant to be asleep have much more difficulty losing or maintaining their weight. This can be due to the fact that since your body should be asleep it doesn’t have the energy to burn the calories that are being introduced to it at that time.

An article in the New York Times shows how Researchers at Northwestern University conducted an experiment in which they fed two mice the exact amount of calories per day. They fed one at night when mice are most active, and one during the day when mice sleep. After six weeks, the studies showed that the mouse who was fed during the day showed a significantly larger increase in its body weight than the one fed at night, 48 percent as opposed to 20 percent. However, more studies with humans are needed in order to obtain a definitive conclusion to this question says Fred Turek, director of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology at Northwestern and the study’s senior author. Turek says that the findings would be particularly important for shift workers, who are known to be at higher risk for obesity, diabetes and other health problems.

However, an article on the American Dietetic Association’s website disagrees. It states that it doesn’t matter when you eat, but how much, and what you eat. It states that the longer a person waits to eat their next meal, the more they tend to eat at that meal. Three to four hours between each meal is the ideal time space your meals in order to maintain a normal blood sugar.

If you plan your snacks out, it will be easier to avoid eating the wrong things when that hunger hits you. The article says to eat things that are high in carbohydrates so your body will stay fueled. Or if you don’t want to eat carbs, you may have fruit or vegetables instead, like apple slices or low fat cheese.

The truth is, if you get hungry late at night and are worried about your weight, the best option for you would be something healthy. Head down to your kitchen or reach in your cabinet in your dorm for some apples, or have some yogurt or cereal. And remember, if you have eaten less than 3 hours ago, you should probably wait to eat.

Even if you are not worried about your weight, eating unhealthy things can lead to some diseases like Type 2 diabetes, and heart problems, so think twice next time before you pop those greasy fries in your mouth at 2 a.m., and reach for a celery stick instead.

Jenna Shepanski is a fourth-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at JS618186@wcupa.edu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.