Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Dangers of Nighttime Snacking

I am not sure why, but for some reason many people including myself struggle with a sweet tooth at night, it is almost like a comfort snack before bed. Unfortunately, nighttime snacks can quickly sabotage your diet. Though you can eat late at night, under a controlled manner, nighttime snacking often brings unwanted, additional calories into your body. The danger from nighttime snacks comes from overeating and most the time we are overeating junk food. We then bring all that junk food into our body's resting state when we sleep. Since you are sleeping or resting you are not burning those additional calories and they are quickly stored as fat. Eating balanced, sensible meals throughout the day, and at regular intervals will help prevent nighttime snacking. A mistake, commonly made with dieters, is to skip meals such as breakfast and lunch, which actually slows down your metabolism. The result is often binging on late night snacks. Often more calories are consumed during these binging sessions than would otherwise be consumed throughout the day.

Controlling food cravings is not only important to your diet, but it will help your overall, long term health. By preventing food cravings, you are keeping your blood sugar in balance. For those who have been diagnosed with Diabetes preventing these spikes in blood sugar are essential and necessary. Eating more complex carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables will keep blood sugar levels balanced and help prevent food cravings. Simple carbohydrates, which are found in white breads, doughnuts, and pasta all, are bad for packing on weight. Complex carbs are healthier for your body and are more unlikely to hold onto fat.

It can be very difficult to control nighttime snacking, and for those who are struggling with their weight, getting control in this area is vital. If you are going to snack at night, look for low calorie alternatives that will fill you up, without packing on extra pounds. Preparing for nighttime snacks is the best preventive strategy you can take to avoid any problems. In the first few weeks of a new exercise and fitness program you might find that going to bed earlier, or engaging in activities that keep your hands busy are good strategies that will help you avoid snacking.

Mindless late night snacking while watching television is a sure fire way to ruin your sensible eating plan and put on extra pounds. If you enjoy watching television at night, get some low calorie alternatives that you can eat without feeling guilty, like nuts, sunflower seeds, or air popped popcorn. Since there is a wide variety of eating plans, make sure to choose a low cal snack that adheres to the guidelines of your diet. Some healthy snacks could include whole wheat crackers, cheese cubes, fruit, vegetables, popcorn with a low calorie topping, rice cakes, a glass of milk, a cup of herbal decaffeinated tea, low fat yogurt, and cottage cheese. Make certain that you determine the amount of calories that you need and allot some for healthy nighttime snacks.

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