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When To Snack To Avoid Gaining Weight

What dieter hasn’t experienced those late-night pangs of hunger – craving something sweet, starchy or salty? You’re tired, possibly bored, and it’s so hard to get your mind off the idea of food once it’s popped into your head.

When not to snack!..

You probably already know that when to snack is just as important as what to snack on, and you probably already know that late-night snacking is not a good time if you want to lose weight!

You will be happy to learn that these late-night food cravings are not your fault! A recent study conducted at the Oregon Health and Science University has found that the body’s internal clock, called the circadian system, increases late-night hunger, which creates those cravings for potato chips and chocolate.

This may have helped our ancestors eat more at night and store more body fat in order to prepare for times of food scarcity or famine. In modern times, however, it results in a great deal of unwanted weight gain!

The human body apparently processes food differently, according to the time of day. We don’t tolerate sugar as well in the evening, and we also store more energy in the evenings. This is because we don’t tend to be active at night after we’ve eaten. Not surprisingly, the researchers concluded that “People who eat a lot in the evening, especially high-calorie foods and beverages, are more likely to be overweight or obese.”

When to snack…

If you want to lose weight, when to snack is of vital importance. The results of this study show that most people feel the least hungry in the morning (at 8 am.) and the most hungry in the evening (8 pm.) The study suggests that because of the internal circadian regulation of appetite, people prefer to skip breakfast and consume more calories in the evening.

So unfortunately, if you want to control your weight, you have to fight your natural urges and eat your larger, higher calorie foods earlier in the day. Aim for a larger breakfast and lunch, and save the low calorie meal for dinner. Snack in the morning or afternoon, and if you really must snack at night, keep it as low-cal as you can. Or, you could go to bed earlier and forget all about the snacks!