The youth today prefer staying up late and like getting involved in parties, movies and dinner quite late in the night; reason being their busy work schedule throughout the day. Some even have a regular habit of taking few quick bites in the middle of the night. Hence the question arises – Is it okay to indulge in midnight snack?
Talking of myself, I work on computer till late night at times, chat with friends over phone and then really feel like binging. This takes me directly into the kitchen and I just open the refrigerator to grab a piece of cake or one or two gulab jamuns and eat it all up. Even after a filling dinner, I feel hungry when up till late night. This often reminds me of my brother who would stay up late to study for exams. A compulsive break every 30 minutes to munch on biscuits, toffees, chips, drink water or going to the washroom was the norm.
Today, this snacking tendency is more seen in the age group of 14-25 years and is identified as a contributing cause to obesity & diabetes. Firstly, the food that you eat after midnight is excess food for your body due to non-engagement in any physical activity that may burn those extra calories. These get accumulated in your body in the form of fat.
Secondly, the food that you choose at midnight is not healthy. For example, you choose binging on biscuits, wafers, chocolates, cake, pastries which are loaded with trans-fat instead of an apple that is healthy at any given time of day or night.
Thirdly, munching that late in the night is really bad for your teeth as well. According to dentists, most of the teeth problems are due to bacterial growth in the mouth. The problem is aggravated when you have anything sweet. And in reality, most people do not brush after having midnight snack which results in food particles getting stuck in between the teeth, providing a suitable ground for developing bacterial infection.
Lastly, unnecessary eating late in the night is bad for your stomach leading to digestive disorder. Digestion is very slow at night because your body is at rest, incapable of burning any calories. The system takes time to digest dinner and if you have midnight snack, it burdens your digestive system more.
Prevention and cure
- If and when you need to stay up for some reason and then feel the urge to gobble – eat a fruit.
- Eat three complete meals and two snacks throughout the day. If you eat properly, you will not feel hungry at night.
- If you are attending any social gathering and cannot escape eating after midnight, take your dinner early before going to the party; this gives you an excuse for not having anything, really.
- Avoid staying up till late night and go to bed early than usual.
- However late or early, always brush your teeth just before bedtime.