Are you still trying to lose weight and shed the extra pounds?
There are different weight loss diets and regimes providing you with different weight loss tips to follow. I am sure you may have heard of the tip: avoid late night snacking and go to bed hungry. So, how effective is this weight loss tip? Let’s take a look….
Avoid late night snacking, go to bed hungry
Studies have suggested that the only thing that matters for weight loss is what you eat and how much you eat, but various studies have now shown that when you eat is just as important in achieving your weight loss goals. Staying awake and eating late is a very recent occurrence in human history; many years ago, we humans never used to eat late at night.
Did you know that you don’t need to eat every 3 or 4 hours to live and be healthy and that you actually burn fat while you sleep?
Your body is inclined to burn fat at certain times of the day and store fat at other times. When you eat a meal or snack, your blood glucose rises, some of the glucose is used up by your muscles and brain for energy, some is stored in the form of glycogen in the liver, and the rest is stored as fat.
When you are asleep, your body is in a fasting state. Your blood glucose drops. As your blood glucose gets lower and lower, your body will use up your glycogen store; the glycogen is converted into glucose to provide energy. If you haven’t eaten anything after dinner, the glycogen store will be used up quickly, then your body will be forced to burn its own fat stores to provide energy to keep you functioning properly. This helps with your efforts to lose weight. If you snack before you sleep, your body doesn’t have a chance to burn its own fat store, it uses the food you eat for energy.
Your body runs on a regular circadian rhythm (an internal clock) that matches with when you wake and sleep and almost every organ in your body also has its own circadian rhythm or internal clock when it is programmed to perform more efficiently. Light is the main cue that sets your body’s internal clock – for example, your liver is scheduled to function more efficiently during the day. The timing of your meals may throw off your body’s circadian rhythm and lead to weight gain.
Numerous studies have shown that weight loss is not just about “calories in and calories out”, but is to a large extent under the control of your hormones
The major hormone here is insulin. Insulin is a fat storing hormone. Higher levels of insulin prevents weight loss. Insulin is secreted in response to eating, so it tends to be raised during the day and fairly low when we are asleep. Insulin levels can be normalised by changing not just what we eat, but when we eat as well. So, avoiding snacks late at night and going to bed hungry will help to keep insulin low and help with your efforts to lose weight.
Ensure you have a routine to live by. Sticking to a meal schedule every day will prevent you from snacking after dinner. It is important to eat your last meal 3 hours before bedtime, so that you spend less time awake.
If you are tempted to snack after dinner, here are 2 things you can do to avoid yielding to that temptation:
1) Brush your teeth after dinner. This will give you the sense that you can’t eat anymore.
2) Drink warm water or a hot cup of caffeine-free herbal tea. Make it hot (not burning hot) so that you can sip it gradually.
1) ScienceDaily (2012) Could high insulin make you fat? Mouse study says yes.