Just a little snack
Most of us know that excess baggage around our middle, is a risk factor not only for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes but especially so for cancer. We know that exercising to get rid of that beer belly is much better on an empty stomach than when we are full to the brim. Additionally, we have been enlightened that to lose our beer belly, we have to decrease our over all calorie intake.
Now comes another enlightening study revealing the relationship between the timing of eating especially our meals and snacks, and the weight gain.
The study involved mice, nocturnal creatures who usually feed at night. These mice were fed during the day when they are supposed to sleep. They were fed with a high calorie diet. After six months, the results showed that they had a 45 percent weight gain as compared to the control group with only a 20 percent .
What does this imply?
Although, a study should also be conducted among humans, the results strongly imply that weight gain happens more during late night eating ,humans being diurnal. The weight gain would be far excessive than what you would gain with the same amount of food if taken during the daytime. Considering that your abdomen is the first anatomical area to gain fat and the last to lose excess weight, you’ll have a beer belly in no time, if you routinely snack late into the night. A lot of fat cells in our bodies consequently causes inflammation and starts the chain reaction that can lead to prostate cancer.
I suspect that this may explain the obesity epidemic. Let me analyze what we actually do at night. We go home finishing our day’s work, eat a big supper; to unwind, we take a glass of wine; to de-stress, we plop ourselves in front of the TV and unconsciously munch fat laden chips. As we watch with gusto, we aren’t even aware of how much calories we have consumed. Or else we do Facebook in bed with a can of soda and a plate of fried chicken. Hmmm… sounds familiar?
Years and years ago, the mealtimes of human beings were from sunrise to sunset. There had been no refrigerators or ways to keep food fresh for 24 hours a day. Human bodies were conditioned to use all that energy during wake hours when the necessity for food is to fuel every move and do necessary things. At sundown there would just be enough calories to maintain a resting metabolism and no extra calories are converted to fat.
I found that the findings of this study is very important if we’d like to prevent obesity that lead to a lot of painful chronic illnesses especially cancer- foremost among them prostate cancer. This would be an eye opener for night shift workers who eat their food late into the night.
What to watch for
To learn the proper way of the right time to eat we have to condition our bodies to eat at the right time. Here are some tips to break that late night snacking:
- Don’t use food as an excuse to de-stress and unwind after a hard day’s work. Take a short exercise instead.
- Be attentive to our night time behavioral patterns to prevent a habit of eating unconsciously while we watch television, or hit the keys of our computers.
- Be aware and discipline ourselves if we’d like to see ourselves healthy and happy away from the shadows of cancer and other chronic illnesses.
So, while we are at it, it is never too late to change those unhealthy habits of snacking late at night.