Do you eat dinner late at night and go to bed less than three hours later? Do you also suffer from unexplained post-nasal drip, cough, and difficulty swallowing? These could be signs of acid reflux, which, unbeknownst to many, can occur without the telltale signs of heartburn and indigestion.
Further, if you want to nip it in the bud, all you may have to do is change your lifestyle to eat dinner earlier. Eating late at night, especially if you overeat and/or eat heavy foods, and then lying down shortly after, is a recipe for acid reflux.
reasons why you should not eat late at night
1. It Affects Your Memory and Concentration Levels
It’s not just your waistline that suffers when you indulge in late night cravings too often. It turns out that eating late at night is bad for your brain health too. Believe it or not, scientists have found that timing of meals have far-reaching effects on brain physiology and learned behaviour. Irregular eating patterns affect the circadian system, which in turn affects the brain’s ability of learning, concentration and memorizing.
2. It Increases Risk For Acid Reflux
Eating before bedtime can increase the risk for night-time acid reflux. When your stomach is struggling to digest food while you lie in bed, the pressure of food metabolizing can result in the loosening of LES (Lower Esophageal Sphincter), allowing undigested food and stomach acids to travel back up the esophagus. If you suffer from reflux, its best to create a 2-hour gap between eating and sleeping to prevent night-time reflux.
3. It Makes It Harder To Lose Weight
Here’s something to discourage you from eating a late night dinner — it will make you gain weight. Research now shows that eating late may influence the success of weight-loss therapy. Surprisingly, your ability to gain or lose weight doesn’t just depend on caloric intake and macronutrient distribution— but also the timing of food. So when it comes to eating late at night, the concept of “A calorie is just a calorie” may be redundant. Because these calories you are ingesting at late hours will more likely be stored as fat in your body.
4. It Is Detrimental For Metabolic Health
Research now shows that eating late is associated with decreased resting-energy expenditure, decreased rate at which carbohydrates are metabolised, decreased glucose tolerance, and blunted daily profile in free cortisol concentrations. Simply put – eating a late meal is detrimental to your metabolic health. And that means it increases your risk to insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, diabetes Type 2 and heart disease.
Best food to eat late at night
- Half an apple
- A piece of grilled chicken
- Couple of crackers with a tablespoon of hummus
- Half a banana with a teaspoon or peanut butter
- Handful of nuts
- A hard-boiled egg
- Mashed up avocado on crisp bread
- Small bowl of chopped up fruit like papaya or melon with cottage cheese