Usually a snack is described as a small amount of food eaten between meals. Snacks include items made from fresh ingredients at home, processed foods, and packaged foods. You may consider fruits, leftovers, nuts, cold cuts, sandwiches, popcorn, chocolate, and many other food sources used as snacks, including sweets. A snack eaten shortly before bedtime or during the night may be called a (mid)night snack. Here Abigail Abesamis, HuffingtonPost.com, reflects on the subject of late night snacks:
“Hunger strikes late at night, and even though you know you should probably just go to bed, you raid the kitchen for something, anything to satiate that nagging desire. While eating a slice of pizza, some ice cream or potato chips might satiate the craving, chances are you won’t be feeling so great when trying to fall asleep after, or even the next morning.
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As the old saying goes, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” Late-night eating is generally discouraged, as recent studies suggest that the body may process food differently at various times of the day. If you eat before sleeping, your body is more likely to store calories as fat rather than convert it to energy, though more research is needed to confirm whether the timing of meals can be connected to weight gain rather than the typical model of calories in vs. calories out.
We chatted with four nutritionists to get the scoop on late-night snacking, as well as their recommendations for better-for-you options if you just have to eat after dinner.
When eating at night, aim to have your last meal a few hours before bed to give your body time to digest.
Nighttime is when you are the least metabolically active and is the main reason you shouldn’t eat large amounts in the evening,” said Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and media rep for New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. He recommends eating dinner, which should be the lightest of your meals for the day, at least 2-3 hours before bed to give your body ample time to digest. Additionally, he said a big meal right before bed can lead to problems sleeping.
Midnight munchies might mean you didn’t eat enough during the day.
“If you find that you’re consistently hungry late at night, try to determine if you’re eating enough earlier in the day,” said Amy Gorin, MS, RDN and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York. She recommends eating a meal or snack every 3-5 hours.
Valdez adds that you should start the day with a breakfast high in fiber, protein and calories, avoid skipping meals and ensure that each meal has an adequate amount of calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat and fiber to keep you full. “Snacking has its purposes, especially if you work out or to avoid overeating at the next meal,” said Valdez.
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Eat if you’re hungry, but first make sure what you’re feeling is actually hunger.
“If you’re hungry you should eat something, no matter what time it is,” said Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD and founder of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness in New York. But sometimes our desire to eat late at night is rooted in something else, such as stress or other emotional issues, habit or boredom. “Often we just reach for food on autopilot, without processing what we are actually feeling. If it’s not physical hunger, what is causing you to want to eat? Be intentional with your eating and work on making a conscious decision to eat,” Rumsey told HuffPost.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/best-late-night-snacks_us_5b994841e4b0511db3e86fe3
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