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Late Night CravingsPublished:
Late Night Cravings aka LNC, we all have 'em.
Standing in front of the fridge at 11:32pm looking for anything but that freaking bag of baby carrots. Or maybe you're more of a 'shimmy your way out of bed and sneak down the hallway to the panty' type.
Either way, those Late Night Cravings are real, and we wanna talk about them!
Why in god's name do we all become violently hungry at night time?!?! Dinner was what, 2 hours ago, and for some reason, our bodies are acting like we haven't had any sustenance in days. We have good news for you; it's not just you; it's your biology and part of how we as a species survived all these years!
"A study published in the most recent version of the journal Obesity found that the body's internal clock, the circadian system, increases hunger and cravings for sweet, starchy, and salty foods in the evenings. While the urge to consume more in the evening may have helped our ancestors store energy to survive longer in times of food scarcity, in the current environment of high-calorie food, those late-night snacks may result in significant weight gain."
While this article is NOT here to talk about weight loss or weight gain, it is worth noting that if you have goals to gain or lose weight, food timing (when you stop and start eating) can play a role in achieving those goals. But back to our main point, LNC are a real thing that almost all of us have, so what do we do with them, and is it possible they are telling us something more than "FEED ME!"?
First and foremost, we are going to ask you to ask yourself the question, "Am I eating enough during the daytime?" Many of us don't necessarily feel hungry in the morning and therefore forgo a meal until the afternoon. There are benefits to this long period of fasting, one being that the window for eating is shorter; that logic goes out the window when you find yourself snacking late into the evening on foods likely less nutritionally valuable and higher in calories to make up for the lack thereof earlier in the day.
These hunger cues deserve to be heard but treating them as data, not direction, might be more beneficial.
Here's what we mean - if you find that you have LCN consistently, try eating more throughout the day. Focus on calorically dense meals full of protein, carbs, and fats so that you don't have large hunger spikes throughout the day (and night). Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and notice if there is a difference in your LNC after a week or two of giving this a go.
Eating late at night in and of itself is not a bad thing. But it is a sign that your body is trying to make up for a lack earlier in the day. In the evening, your body shouldn't worry about how much energy it has left to do all the fantastic functions it does while we sleep. By being satisfied, you will notice it becomes easier to wind down, destress, find peace, and plan for the next day. Your body will come to calm more quickly, and your sleep will likely improve because your body is thoroughly nourished and ready to rest and recover from the day.
Let's make a pack try and be more mindful of the signals our bodies send us so that give ourselves the chance to thrive, not just survive.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.