The long summer days leave many people feeling peckish well past dinner time. But late-night snacking poses serious health risks, as it usually involves high-calorie, greasy foods such as fried chicken and pizza, which cause obesity and increase levels of lipids in the blood.
This can result in cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Eating large meals just before going to bed is bad for the digestive system. Lying down after eating can cause reflux esophagitis or gastritis, as gastric acid flows upward into the throat.
This in turn diminishes sleep quality and keeps the stomach and intestines, which should be at rest during sleep, active. It also prevents you from getting the deep, sound sleep you need.
Overcoming the urge to eat late at night requires a change of routine. First of all, establishing regular meal times is crucial, even if it means eating the occasional meal when you are not hungry.
Late-night snacking is often a result, as well as a cause, of poor sleep, so it is important to sleep at regular times. If you absolutely must eat late at night, try a mug of warm milk or a banana rather than fried chicken.
After dinner, doing some light exercise, household chores or cleaning, or going for a walk can reduce the urge to snack.