Avoid The Snacking Trap That Devastates Health
Snacking is an important part of life. And as long as you do it the right way, it can improve your health. But when done the wrong way, it can lead to harm. In today’s article I’m going to give you the tips you need to protect your health with smart snacking.
Research shows that as people age they are at greater risk of eating too little rather than too much. So smart snacking on healthy foods can be a wise thing to do. But what most of us don’t know turns out to be the most important element in figuring out the smart way to snack.
You see, when it comes to snacking, most of the so-called experts tell us what we already know. Don’t snack on too much junk food. Don’t drink your snacks in the form of sodas and other soft drinks. Sure, this is all great advice, but it’s also pretty common sense stuff. However, where this advice fails is in ignoring the fact that the most dangerous snacking factor turns out to be the time of day that we snack.
Do you ever snack later in the evening, like while you’re watching TV? You might want to rethink that. Read on and I’ll explain why and give you simple tips for healthy changes.
Our Ancestors Were Onto Something
The reasons this late night snacking is bad for us are rooted in our distant past. As most of us know, our ancestors didn’t have access to refrigerators and kitchen cupboards stocked with snack foods. They would regularly go through times of feast and famine. And it turns out that this cycle provides many benefits for our bodies. In today’s modern world you can dramatically improve how your body operates by simply copying that pattern. As you’ll see, it can be easy to do and enjoyable as well.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is one of the easiest ways to do this. If that sounds scary, don’t worry! This can be a painless and enjoyable process that you can easily fit you’re your routine. Specifically, scientists who know their stuff recommend a simple method. They tell us that restricting your daily eating to the daytime offers all the benefits This provides a significant period of total fasting while at the same time being fairly painless. Also, because it forces you to get your snacking out of the way before too late, there’s an added benefit. This gives you several hours to digest your snacks before bedtime.
The benefits of moderating your nighttime snacking as part of a daily intermittent fasting program are pretty amazing. Scientists have determined that getting your body into a short “famine mode” on a daily basis can work wonders. It moves your insulin into a normal range while improving the body’s energy levels. That means it helps prevent diabetes and leaves you feeling stronger for longer.
Intermittent Fasting Encourages Your Body to Become More Efficient
Intermittent fasting works to retune your body to burn food more efficiently. Growing scientific evidence has shown that fasting on a regular basis helps the body use all energy sources equally well, including fats and sugars. In turn, this helps reduce your risk of serious disease.
Once you begin intermittent fasting, and snacking only within the daily eating window, you will notice a tremendous improvement. That includes increased energy along with weight loss, lowered blood pressure, and many other health benefits.
Snacking Late at Night Throws Off the Body’s Internal Clock
The latest scientific research suggests that eating snacks late at night, especially when you should be sleeping, can throw off your internal clock and results in gaining weight. Going hand in hand with late night snacking is the unnatural glow of a TV, computer, or e-reader. As I’ve told you before, artificial light can trick your body into staying awake, and that has many dangerous effects.
In fact, a recent study showed dramatic effects. Those exposed to dim light at night gained a whopping 50 percent more weight over a period of eight weeks. Those in darkness did not. Those exposed to light at night also had higher rates of glucose intolerance, which is a precursor of diabetes. They gained weight even though they were ate the same amount and had the same levels of activity.
Interestingly, those exposed to the dim light at night snacked more at a time when they should have normally been sleeping, which led to a gain in weight. But when meals and snacks were kept within the daytime window, there was no weight gain.
What does it all mean? When your light exposure patterns become disrupted it can affect when you eat. That throws off your metabolism, resulting in weight gain.
The good news is that scientists have discovered that eating your biggest meal in the evening is just fine. In fact that may be more in sync with your internal biological clock. But you should curb your eating after dinner, and make dinner at least a few hours before bed. Regularly eating at the wrong time throws off your biological clock and affects your sleep. That disrupts important body functions and induces disease.
As it turns out, our bodies are programmed for meals and snacking mainly during the day and into early evening, but not late at night or just before bedtime.
You should avoid eating snacks late in the evening, like just before, during, or after bedtime. Eating during the day and into the early evening is perfectly healthy, but research shows that it's best to curb snacking before it gets too late to enjoy the health benefits. Give yourself at least two or three hours between when you last snack and when you go to bed.