Got a cuppa? Let’s discuss the controversial topic of late night snacking.
I see a lot of messaging on social media saying you should be eating supper before bed, it’s good for you they say!
Can I give you my two cents?
Have you noticed that a lot of what I share with you is really just simple tips to keep your blood sugar regulated?
I believe that our ancestors knew this knowledge inherently due to generations of food traditions and habits but somehow we’ve lost our way when it comes to these common sense customs.
The Industrial Age brought many changes, some beneficial, others not so much. Like the humble light bulb which means we can stay up past sunset to party, work, relax and… eat!
So let’s say you have a big night out and find yourself enjoying a kebab at midnight. What’s the big deal?
Well, studies show that your body responds very differently to a kebab at midnight than to a kebab at midday.
It turns out that food eaten at night has a much higher glucose response to the exact same meals consumed during daylight hours.
We are biologically wired to be awake & active with the sun and sleeping or restful with the moon and that includes eating.
One study linked the high diabetes levels of shift workers to the fact that they were required to eat at night during their shifts and the high glucose response to those meals. They replicated those meals during the day and low and behold, their glucose response was slower, lower and didn’t last as long.
And guess what? The same was true for their lipid metabolism, explaining why an increased risk of cardiovascular disease is also associated with late night meals.
And just to recap, high glucose equals high insulin (your fat storage hormone).
So whenever your blood sugar is too high and poorly regulated, as is the case when you eat late at night, you are in fat storage mode.
So the habit of eating late will hinder your ability to maintain a healthy weight.
So when should you finish eating for the day?
Officially I say 8pm, mostly because it’s a sensible time for most Australians and families.
But you don’t have to put an exact time on it, these are guides not rules, there is no prison warden coming to lock up the fridge & turn off the lights at 8pm exactly.
I can just imagine someone bent over their meal, eyes darting to the clock on the dining room wall as they panic trying to finish their meal before 8pm. That is definitely not necessary! In your day to day life, just try to plan dinner at around 7:00-7:30 at the latest.
We have kids so we tend to eat at about 6pm. I won’t eat again until around 7am the next day.
Don’t you get hungry? I hear you ask.
Well actually no, I don’t even think about food to be honest unless maybe it’s a Friday night and our family makes a special treat or have a hot chocolate in front of a movie.
Dinner is always balanced with plenty of protein, vegetables, healthy fats & complex carbs so I am satisfied.
Do I make dinner bookings at 6pm? Gosh no, I don’t worry about finishing a meal by 8pm when I am out.
What time do you eat dinner?