What time does your kitchen close?
In most homes, the answer is never—which is why it’s so easy to accidentally polish off a pint of ice cream or a box of cookies as the hours grow late. “Nighttime is probably the most popular time to snack, but it’s also the time we need to eat the least,” notes Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It. “Most people eat little to no breakfast, have lunch and a snack in the afternoon and then come home and have a big dinner.”
Why shutting down snacking is important
Of course, some of us need to eat well after sundown, whether because of a too-busy schedule that makes it a challenge to dine early or a need to keep blood sugar levels steady throughout the day and night. But science is increasingly discovering a number of negative effects that can happen when you start snacking in the midnight hours. Read on for what can happen when you eat too late at night—and follow these tips for smart ways to curb your end-of-the-day appetite.