It is a myth that late-night eating packs on the pounds. The only time you gain weight with late-night eating is if you eat too much. Even if there was a slight fat-storing effect at dinner, it’s too small to make any difference in a person’s weight. In truth, people let their guard down at night and are more prone to overeating, especially comfort foods like ice cream and chips. It is the extra calories, not the time of day, that leads to weight gain.
Granted, late-night noshing can be a sign of a general out-of-whack eating schedule that can lead to the Night Eating Syndrome, where you eat the bulk of your calories later in the day, wake up not hungry so skip breakfast, then pig out that night. The problem here is not only are you overeating at night, but you’re skipping the most important meal of the day – breakfast. Breakfast – especially if it’s whole grain cereal, milk, and fruit – is one of the most nutritious and low-fat meals of the day, so it makes sense that breakfast eaters consume fewer total calories and have an easier time managing their weights than people who overate the night before then skipped breakfast
So, if you want a little snack in the evening and have taken 5 minutes to eat breakfast that day, then go ahead …indulge. But, use that late-night snack to fill in the gaps on those foods you fell short on throughout the day, such as fruits and vegetables. A big bowl of watermelon chunks, frozen blueberries, or a glass of Tropicana 100% orange juice blended with a little yogurt and ice can help sooth a sweet tooth. If you want to sleep well, then heat a Seneca Farms Oatmeal & Fruit cup in the microwave for 45 seconds or have 2 cups of air-popped popcorn, since an all-carb small snack like these raise the brain chemical, serotonin, which helps you sleep like a baby.