Confused about whether or not you can snack in the evening?
We eat to nourish, to fuel, to comfort and sometimes it’s simply because we’re bored, insert snacking in the evening. Is it bad? Not necessarily, we just need to look at and understand why we’re eating in the evenings. If the snack you’re having is a normal part of your balanced day where you always leave room for a little something such as piece of chocolate, some fruit and yogurt, a small bowl of popcorn, apple slices and peanut butter or even a small handful of nuts and seeds it’s perfectly okay. However, if the snacking is because we haven’t eaten enough during the day we’ll end up have a huge increase in cravings in the evening where we find ourselves almost out of control, consuming more than necessary. Another problem can be eating out of boredom or mindless snacking in front of the TV. This type of snacking consists of too many empty calories where in the end we feel gross or try tell ourselves the bag of chips was really half air trying to justify finishing the entire bag.
So is it bad? Will I gain weight? If you’re tying to consider your weight, eating too much of any food will contribute to packing on the pounds, whether its during the day or night. Making sure to eat frequent balanced meals and snacks with enough protein, including lots of fibre from all sources will help us to feel more in control in the evenings. Ultimately though, our bodies work calorically as a whole and if you’ve consumed more than your body will burn then we can start to see a gain in weight. The problem I see though with heavy evening snacking is more around comfort and sleep. When we consume too many foods in the evening that are high in sodium, fat, sugar, and calories we tend to be too full right before bed and could have an increase in heart burn, or even a restless night. So I’m not saying that you shouldn’t snack in the evening as I don’t believe in going to bed hungry, but knowing which foods will satisfy you and any cravings without depriving your body of restful sleep is essential.