Not only does it make you gain weight, but it also weakens memory
By Ea Francisco
After a long and tiring day, you’re more susceptible to snacking after hours. You might think that just a bite or two won’t do any harm. However, there’s evidence that shows midnight snacking isn’t the best idea, and here’s why.
According to a Harvard neuroscientist, your body responds differently to calories consumed at different times. He found out that eating meals at night can cause more weight gain than eating the same amount earlier in the day. The body has a certain biological clock called the circadian rhythms, and hormones and organs go by these rhythms. The body is used to the pattern of eating during the day and fasting at night (because you’re sleeping), so it develops insulin resistance when you’re asleep. In effect, eating late at night causes a spike in blood sugar and more weight gain as opposed to when you’re eating the same thing in the day. More studies show that frequent midnight snacking can put you at higher risk of Type 2 diabetes.
When you eat at random parts of the day, you’re basically shifting your biological clock. One of these is the hippocampus or the part of the brain that handles memory and learning. A study experimented on mice to see if late-night snacking affected hippocampus functions. Two sets of mice were tested in which the first group had limited eating times while the second one did not. It showed that the first group weren’t able to remember the room with the electrical shock, so they were consistently surprised, as if it was their first time encountering it.
Disrupts Timing of Sleep
The same study above also showed that late-night eating causes a shift in your sleep hours. The mice that had misaligned eating were more active during the times when they were supposed to be sleeping. Your body would adjust to your eating patterns, and you’ll end up staying up late at night even when you don’t need to. It’s kind of like when you’re having jet lag. If you’re not on a night shift, it’s very problematic because your body would make you feel tired and fatigue during the day while at the same time making it harder to sleep at night.