How to avoid weight gain?
We often say that eating before bed will make you fat. Why? Is it because we eat different foods? Or is it because our body stocks most of the calories in the form of fat?
In fact, one of the reasons snacking after supper can make you gain a few kilos is that you eat more calories than you spend in a day. And for many of the people who consume too many calories, the excess ones are often consumed at night. Why? To this day, scientists have made many suppositions to explain this phenomenon 1:
· The nature of the foods: The calories we eat after supper often come from salty, sweet, and fat foods,, such as chips, chocolate, crackers, pastries, etc. These foods are high in calories and not very filling.
Solution: Prefer low-calorie foods, that is, those rich in fiber and low in fat and sugar. For alternatives to most popular treats, consult the article How to snack in a healthy way?
· Distractions: Many people use the night to relax while watching television, surfing the Web, or reading a good book… In short, to pursue sedentary activities often accompanied by snacks. Eating when distracted does not predispose us to listen to our satiety signals, i.e., to stop eating when we are not hungry anymore. Result: we eat more!
Solution: Use the time you have after supper to practice a sports activity: a walk in the park, a weight session, a yoga class, etc. Before eating, ask yourself if you are really hungry or just eating automatically.
· The time allowed for meals: Nowadays, most people’s meal schedule follows this logic: breakfast on-the-go, a 30 minutes to 1 hour lunch, and a supper in the company of relatives in a more relaxed atmosphere. Did you notice that as the day goes on, the meals last longer, and so we eat more?
Solution: Eat balanced meals three times a day and snacks if needed. From breakfast to supper, all meals are important!
By Vanessa Martin
1. De Castro, JM. The time of day of food intake influences overall intake in humans. The journal of nutrition. 134: 104-111, 2004.