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Why Does Bad Food Taste So Darn Good After Midnight ?!

So, you've been really good all day but you've got the munchies.  There you are stood in front of the open fridge and it's a smidgen past midnight.  What are you going to do?  There's some particularly fresh looking salad in there along with some hummus, there's even a few carrots and a stir fry with a nice bit of protein for good measure.  Sounds good, but why is it that at one stroke past midnight we go from good to downright daft with our munchie choices?  Past midnight, all of a sudden, a huge bag of crisps, some biscuits and perhaps some ice cream seem like a much better option.  What's more, they always taste so much better after midnight!  Science can answer some of these questions but usually its down to psychology.

So you've used up all your willpower for the day by being "good".  Willpower is not everlasting, and you've been exercising it well all day by saying no to the McDonald's breakfast, no to the doughnuts at 11.00am and no to the boss's offer to buy you a pint at lunchtime.  Exhausting!  By the time you get to midnight you've had enough of trying and think well, I've been good all day so what the heck!

Of course, it's midnight so it's dark.  You are under the cover of darkness which can give a sense of your behaviour somehow doesn't seem as bad as if it were during the day.  After all you can always hoover the crumbs up in the morning - no-one will even notice.

If while you are being "good" you have a plan of action as to what you will eat during the day, it's unlikely you have had the forethought for a spell of midnight consumption!  Make sure that if you operate like this with a plan and are prone to after dark eating then make sure you've planned some  healthy snacks in the fridge and perhaps get rid of the rubbish.

It may seem a little odd but loneliness is a major problem is society in general and when it comes to the midnight munchies it's definitely a factor.  It doesn't really matter if you're single or been married for donkey's years, chances are if you find yourself in front of the fridge in the wee small hours, it's likely that no-one else is there with you, not awake anyway.  All the usual distractions of the day just aren't there and so, if we're prone to emotional eating, this may make us vulnerable to night time indulgences.

What causes the 2am run to the kebab shop?  Alcohol!  Almost always late night eating is down to drinking.  Alcohol is dehydrating so you can feel thirsty which is often mistaken for hunger.  In your intoxicated state you are not very likely to make good decisions as to what your need to eat.  It's much easier at this point to grab a take away or even have another drink than eat sensibly!  Once in a while is fine but lets face it, do it often and you will be storing up a whole load of fat and trouble for yourself.

James.

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