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From snacking and drinking alcohol too close to bedtime to scrolling your phone or exercising before sleep, you may be surprised by these nocturnal habits that can cause weight gain.
Skipping dinner with small snacks can be detrimental, Moody cautions. This can cause your hunger in the morning to shift into overdrive, which can cause you to eat more calories the following day.
Mindless munching on high-calorie snacks in the evening can contribute to an excess calorie intake. Instead, opt for nutrient-dense snacks earlier in the day, and practice portion control.
A hearty meal too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep and contribute to weight gain. Your body needs time to digest food properly, and lying down immediately after eating can lead to discomfort in sleep quality.
When your body is sleep-deprived, it craves energy-dense foods, and hormonal imbalances can lead to increased appetite and decreased metabolism, making it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
Research indicates that the blue light emitted from screens interferes with melatonin production, negatively impacting your sleep. Poor sleep quality is associated with weight gain.
Late-night work sessions can increase stress levels and disrupt sleep patterns. A 2018 review concluded that elevated cortisol levels can increase cravings for high-calorie comfort foods and lead to weight gain around your abdomen.
Despite popular belief, a nightly glass of wine isn't helping you get better sleep. Alcohol disrupts the melatonin levels in your brain. In addition to poor quality sleep, empty calories from alcohol are the equivalent of snacking on junk food.
While evening workouts have their benefits, intense exercise too close to bedtime can speed up your metabolism and make it challenging to wind down. Also, the increased adrenaline and heart rate from exercise can interfere with your body's ability to fall and stay asleep.
Eating while watching TV, working, or engaging in other distractions prevents the brain from communicating with the stomach that the body is fed, resulting in you consuming more calories.
Enjoying a large meal in the evening can lead to overeating—especially if it becomes a habit. Instead, opt for a balanced and portion-controlled dinner to support digestion and promote a restful night's sleep.