The Midnight Meal: The Why, How, and What of Late Night Cravings
The modern lifestyle we have today has resulted in a lot of side-effects and late night cravings is one of them. Considered to be an eating disorder, let’s take a closer look at this and how it can be dealt with.
What is Late Night Craving?
As precisely as the name suggests, late night craving is when you start feeling extremely hungry towards the latter part of the day, quite unnaturally. The Night Eating Syndrome (NES) comes with symptoms like consuming about 25% of the total food intake of the day after you have eaten your dinner. You may also find yourself waking up from your sleep, just so that you can give your body that extra supply of food. It is possible that you do not have an appetite at all when you wake up in the morning while the cravings at night are simply uncontrollable. There may also be difficulties in falling asleep, which for some people are relieved by eating.
Why Do I Get Late Night Cravings?
There are multiple reasons for getting late night cravings. The biological clock that governs the activities of our body work in sync with the hormones, making us feel hungry at a particular time and sleepy at another. However, people who have the Night Eating Syndrome, experience an imbalance in the appetite hormones even when their sleep/wake hormones are working normally. Controlling your food intake too much, like in diets, also tends to give you late night cravings wherein by the end of the day, the body and mind are so exhausted with all the self-inflicted restrictions that the will-power starts to weaken. Stress is another common factor inducing late night food intakes.
How Do I Cope with My NES?
Now that we know what the problem is, how do we cope up with this? Here are some hacks that may help you in controlling these urges or keeping them as less harmful as possible.
Early to Bed
Going to bed early is the first way out. When your body has had more rest, the chances of you craving for unhealthy food is less likely. While late night binge-watching series is a cool habit to have, it definitely is not the healthiest. They can affect your internal clock and make you stay awake for hours longer than you may want to. Further, when you are watching something, you may find yourself having less control over the food consumption. You can try watching your favorite shows right after your dinner to resist reaching out for more food late at night.
One reason why people resort to overconsumption is that food provides the person with a sense of comfort. However, if this is starting to affect your health, it is probably a sign that you need better coping mechanisms. Look for other options to find your calm like reading a book, taking a relaxing stroll or having an adult coloring book. The more you explore, the more you will find out.
Have a Balanced Diet
Monitor your diet and spot the places where you need to work on replacements. Rather than consuming food with excessive sugars, find food items that give you good fats and proteins. A quick online search or talk with a nutritionist can help you find out what kind of food products are healthy and which are not. Incorporating a good amount of fats and fiber in your meals will reduce your urges to look for these in your midnight snacks through unhealthy food supplements. You may also need to reconsider your entire eating pattern and habits. Eat food on time and in regular intervals. Skipping breakfast for a heavy lunch is not a good option, no matter how healthy the lunch is. Drink lots of water and fluids to keep your body going as well.
Having healthy alternatives to your snacks is also a means of coping with midnight cravings in a safe manner. Fruit Treat provides you with a range of fruit based products that are safe for consumption and gives your body the nutrients it requires. These are good options for those nights when you find yourself not able to resist reaching out for something to eat. Late night cravings have become a common phenomenon now, thanks to our modern lifestyle and busy schedules. Keeping them at bay is absolutely necessary so that they don’t affect your health.