Abe works in Lagos, he left his house since the crack of dawn just to beat the traffic to work, he didn’t eat breakfast.
At work, he gets lost in reports, proposals, and suddenly, it is 1 pm, time for the lunch break. That is when he realizes that he has not eaten all day, but he can’t leave his desk, deadlines are bearing down!
Then he gets on the road once again after work, fights 3 hours of traffic, and finally flops down on his couch at home at 10 pm, extremely tired and hungry. Question – would you expect Abe to go to sleep hungry because he knows eating late is not very good for his health? Or do you think Abe should go make eba and settle with egusi, roundabout, and ponmo? After all, in this life, he cannot kill himself.
Why you shouldn’t eat late at night
If you live in any busy city in Nigeria, you can probably relate to Abe’s struggles. Many times, the choice is between going to bed very hungry or eating late. You are caught between a rock and a hard place. Question is, which should you choose? Let’s see if these reasons would help your choice
You will most likely gain weight because when you eat late, the calories you ingest (even if it is a little amount) cannot be burnt while you sleep, so they get stored as fat
When you eat late, your stomach struggles to digest food because you are lying down. This causes the Lower Oesophageal Sphincter to loosen up (due to pressure) and then you will have undigested food and acid coming right back up. This is not a very pleasant feeling as anyone who has experienced it will tell you. You might wake up in the middle of the night choking or you wake up in the morning with a bitter taste in your mouth.
Increased blood pressure/risk of Diabetes
Eating late at night also increases your resting blood sugar level. This leaves you open to the risk of developing diabetes, and high blood pressure or hypertension.
How you can avoid the night munchies
It is obvious that eating late is a no-no if you want to take your health seriously. But how can you handle it?
- Try and reduce your level of stress before going to bed. Stress could be a factor in late-night eating
- Stock up on fruits and healthy snacks. If you have to eat at night, eat these instead.
- Try and eat a balanced diet for dinner, don’t try and limit your calories. Just make sure to eat early enough.
It is understandable that sometimes, it is quite hard not to take a heavy dinner at 10 pm, but now that you know what that is doing to your body, you can work at reducing how often it happens.
If you have to eat, go for healthy snacks and fruits instead of full-blown meals. It is your body, if you don’t take care of it, who will?