Can Late Night Snacking Age Your Skin?
Do you know those days when you suddenly have a late-night craving for something sweet? Or when that day-old pizza suddenly looked appetizing. What about that day when you were watching a cooking video and a minute after, you catch yourself rummaging through your fridge? We hate to break it to you, but late-night snacking will not only affect your body but may also damage your skin.
Read on to find out how your late-night eating habits can disrupt your skin health and how you can curb your appetite to stop bloating.
How Does Late Night Snacking Affect the Skin?
1. Affects Skin Protection Against the Sun
Different studies have shown that late-night eating has some negative effects on your skin health. One study from the UT Southwestern in 2017, suggested that eating late at night can weaken the skin’s protection against the sun. An abnormal eating schedule can disrupt your skin clock making it more vulnerable to UV rays and sunburn. Although further research is still needed, it wouldn’t hurt to change your bad eating habits and start a healthy diet.
2. Make You Look Bloated
If you've ever been guilty of late-night snacking, you know just how easy it can be to end up looking bloated. But is there really any truth to this claim?
Yes, there certainly is! Late night snacking can cause your body to store excess water, which leads to bloating and weight gain. This effect is caused by the body's natural circadian rhythms, which are responsible for regulating many different bodily functions. At night, your body will produce more of the hormone cortisol, which in turn causes it to retain water and store more fat.
There are several ways that you can combat this effect, however. The first step is to avoid eating too close to bedtime. Give yourself at least an hour or two to digest your food before lying down. Secondly, try to avoid high-sodium foods that can cause you to retain water. And finally, make sure to drink plenty of water during the day so that your body stays hydrated and doesn't begin to store excess water.
3. Reduce Skin Hydration
When you eat late at night, your body has to work harder to digest the food, which means that it doesn't have as much energy to put towards hydrating your skin. So, if you're looking to keep your skin hydrated and healthy, it's best to avoid snacking late at night.
Of course, this doesn't mean that you have to go to bed hungry. If you're truly hungry before bed, there are a few nutritious snacks that can help you satisfy your hunger without affecting your skin. Some good options include Greek yogurt with fruit, cottage cheese with some nuts or seeds, and a small bowl of oatmeal.
4. Makes You Look Haggard
If you're the type of person who likes to snack before bed, you might want to think twice about your late-night snacking habits. While a small snack before bed can sometimes be beneficial, if you're regularly eating large meals or snacks right before going to sleep, it can actually make you look haggard in the morning.
This is because your body has a hard time digesting heavy or sugary foods right before bed. When you're sleeping, your body shuts down most of its functions to focus on repairing itself. This includes slowing down the activity in your digestive system, which can lead to indigestion and discomfort when you wake up — not a good way to start the day. Instead, try sticking to lighter foods, like a bowl of cereal or an apple with peanut butter before bed, and you'll wake up looking refreshed instead of haggard.
5. Cause Acne and Inflammation
Eating too much late at night can disrupt your body's natural circadian rhythm and cause your body to produce excess cortisol, a hormone associated with stress. This can lead to an increase in skin inflammation and breakouts. Additionally, the high-sugar snacks that you might reach for late at night will only further exacerbate any acne issues you may already have.
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Center, M. (2017, August 15). Eating habits affect skin’s protection against sun. Utsouthwestern.edu. https://www.utsouthwestern.edu/newsroom/articles/year-2017/eating-affects-skin-protection.html