Tips to Deal with Hunger Pangs at Night

Many people develop hunger pangs late in the night. And rather than going to sleep, they can’t resist raiding the pantry. A large majority of people who develop hunger pangs at night crave for something sweet or snacks like chips, chocolates, a slice of pizza or ice cream. However, while this may make one feel good for a short while, these foods often cause trouble with sleeping or make you feel worse the next morning.

In most households, late-night eating is discouraged. In fact, healthcare workers recommend that one should eat a big breakfast, a light lunch, and something light before bedtime. Unfortunately, this regimen rarely prevents hunger pangs.

Studies show that the body’s ability to process foods varies during different times of the day. When we eat before sleeping, our body is more likely to store the calories as fat rather than convert it to energy.

The overall consensus among dietary experts is that one should try and have the last evening meal a few hours before going to bed so that this gives the body time to break up the food. At night time, the body is metabolically inactive, and thus most of the food is stored as fat. In fact, dietitians state that the dinner should be the lightest meal of the day and should preferably be eaten at least 2-3 hours before sleep.

Most dietitians believe that if those who develop hunger pangs at night are those who, most likely, did not eat enough food during the day. What they suggest is that one should eat a meal or a snack every 3-6 hours while awake as this gradually eliminates late-night hunger pangs.

It is also recommended that one eat a breakfast that is high in protein, fiber, and calories. One should also avoid skipping meals and ensure that each meal has an adequate number of calories to keep one full. Snacks are generally recommended for those who work out or for those who want to avoid overeating the next meal.

However, if you have hunger pangs at night, you can try to eat smart. Keep the pantry stocked with smart carbs, healthy fats, and protein. If you crave sugar go for yogurt or fruit slices, followed by a glass of milk. Foods that should be avoided include caffeine, alcohol, soft drinks and chocolate

The key is to find balance and watch the portion size. Eat short meals throughout the day so that you don’t feel hungry at night.

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