With the holiday season in full swing, a reference to the classic ’80s film “Gremlins” seems most apropos. If you’ll recall, owning a gremlin (well, in Gizmo form, that is) required following some very specific rules, chief among them being that you cannot, under any circumstances, feed them after midnight. OK, no problem. They don’t get to eat after midnight. No big deal. But, what about us humans? Why is it that we’ve been told, for so many years, that we shouldn’t eat late at night, either? Will we turn into gremlins if we do?Frankly, when you consider how often and how readily this advice was dispensed, it’s easy to assume that such drastic changes would occur in our bodies. Granted, I don’t think anyone ever expected that their skin would become green and scaly, or that they’d grow a white Mohawk, but a fear of an enlarged belly and an inflated rear end seems rather warranted.
It’s okay to eat at night?
Thankfully, logic has prevailed, and most experts these days have debunked this food myth. It’s perfectly fine to eat late at night, provided you’re eating healthy foods. You see, this is where many people go wrong; noshing mindlessly on high-sugar, high-fat foods before heading off to bed. Follow this destructive pattern enough nights in a row and, before you know it, a change in your body really will take place.
“The time of day a person eats is not as important for overall weight gain as the amount of calories eaten during the day,” agrees Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo Ph.D., R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, speaking in a recent CNN.com article. Like many other common myths, particularly those told around the holiday season, this anti-nighttime-eating one does not have merit.
in fact, some people actually stress the importance of eating before bed. Specifically, many active weightlifters consume foods containing casein protein (cottage cheese is very high in this slower-digesting form of protein) before hitting the sack. This way, their metabolism continues to work, even while they are at rest.
For an interesting look at some other common myths about holiday health concerns, click here to read the full CNN.com article.
Happy Holidays, everyone. And, just for the sake of safety, even though you’re clear to eat late at night, there’s still a great deal of danger in affording such liberty to Gizmo.