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April Series: Why Nighttime Eating is Unhealthy

Why Nighttime Eating is Unhealthy

Eating just before you go to bed causes high blood sugar levels and increased amounts of fat to be deposited in fat cells. Resting muscles draw almost no sugar from the bloodstream and what little they do remove from the bloodstream requires insulin (Sports Medicine, Feb 2, 2018;1-13), while contracting muscles pull large amounts of sugar from the bloodstream and don’t even need insulin to do so (Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, Sept 2007;77(3):S87–S91).

  • If you do not move around and contract your muscles after eating, you increase risk for high blood sugar levels.

  • You burn the lowest amount of calories when you sleep. When you go to sleep after eating, you burn fewer calories from that food so more of it is stored as fat (Metabolism, 2009;58(7):920–926).

  • Several studies show that blood sugar levels respond best to insulin during the day and worst at night (Nat Rev Endocrinol, 2019;15(2):75–89).

  • Cortisol raises blood sugar levels by blocking the effects of insulin, and cortisol levels are higher when you are sleeping (Ann NY Acad Sci, 2017;1391(1):20–34).


Move Around Before and After You Eat

Eating only in the daytime and not at night significantly prolongs the lives of animals (Science, May 5, 2022;376(6598):1192-1202).

The least healthful time to eat is just before you go to bed, and the most healthful times to eat are before you exercise or within an hour after you finish exercising.

Exercising after eating causes contracting muscles to pull sugar from the bloodstream, which helps to prevent high rises in blood sugar. Eating within an hour after exercising also prevents a high rise in blood sugar.


Your muscles can extract sugar from the bloodstream maximally without needing insulin for about an hour after you finish exercising, but this ability is then gradually lost over about 17 hours or until you contract your muscles again (J Appl Physiol, 2005;8750-7587).


Exercise has to be a part of our life, so if you are not exercising contact me through this website for more information!


Your Health Coach,

Christine!


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