Are you one of those people who are afraid of getting fat so they always avoid eating at night? Apparently not necessarily like that. Then what are the facts?
The myth of eating late at night makes you fat
Eating at night can make your body fat, is a statement that has long been discussed, but is still debated. Research conducted on night shift workers shows that night-shift workers often eat food at night and show weight gain. A journal also supports the results of previous studies by stating that eating at night risks increasing the calories consumed.
Various reasons that cause people who eat at night other than because of hunger that appears at night, is because they want to satisfy your appetite which can be false hunger, relieve stress, or because of boredom.
Usually, people who eat late at night because they want to satisfy their appetite or because they want to get rid of stress tend to choose snacks but are high in calories. They do consume it in small amounts, but the calories contained in this snack are huge. Things like this can cause obesity.
People who have the habit of eating at night can be considered to have dinner syndrome (NES). NES has the characteristics of eating a lot at night, often staying up late or having trouble sleeping, and anorexia that occurs in the morning. NES is often associated with depression and stress which causes increased appetite. When your appetite increases, what you eat is high-calorie and high-sugar foods, and this is considered a cause of obesity.
Various studies conducted recently found that consumption of low-calorie snacks at night actually reduces the risk of obesity in women. Even research conducted on athletes shows that consumption of high protein snacks in 30 minutes before bedtime can help in the process of spending energy which is useful for maintaining normal bodily functions at rest.
In another study, it was found that consumption of high protein snacks in the elderly could actually increase muscle protein synthesis. This is because of a good time in the process of metabolism and protein synthesis at night. So, eating foods high in protein before going to bed can maximize the process of digestion of proteins in the body. This study also proves that consumption of protein before going to sleep can prevent aging and loss of muscle mass in the elderly.
Another study that proves one of the benefits of eating snacks before bedtime can reduce calorie intake in a group of women who are overweight and obese. A group of overweight women is given low-fat, low-calorie, and high-fiber snacks, such as whole-grain cereals, every 90 minutes after dinner. This was proven to reduce the group’s appetite the next morning, thereby reducing their daily calorie intake.
In this study, the group wanted to see changes in blood pressure that occur if the group ate snacks at night. As a result, protein-containing snacks accompanied by regular exercise can reduce blood pressure and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis in overweight women.
So can eating late at night make you fat?
Our body works all the time, including burning calories. It is true that when sleeping, the body burns fewer calories than when active, but the quality of sleep is one of the determining factors in maintaining weight. In this case, what really plays a role in determining whether your weight goes up, down, or remains is the number of calories you consume in a day, not the most decisive mealtime. When you eat dinner and eat foods high in calories and fat, that’s what can affect your weight gain.
You might eat about 10% of total calories a day at night, but it’s better to do it 3 hours before bedtime. And if this is done routinely and in balance with regular exercise, this will only maintain stability and bodily functions.
In fact, scientific evidence is still needed to prove with certainty which statement is true, whether dinner makes fat or can actually help metabolize nutrients in the body.
Research that states that eating at night can make proven fat in night shift workers and patients who have dinner syndrome, this is also caused by lack of sleep in groups so that it affects hormones that function to regulate appetite and nutritional metabolism.
On the other hand, currently, various studies have also proven that eating at night with certain conditions can actually help a person to maintain his health. Therefore, other research is needed to confirm this statement