Eat Dessert At This Time Of Day To Kill Nighttime Food Cravings

Nighttime food cravings are a thing for a lot of people. And there are several reasons why. Not eating sufficient protein throughout your day and unhealthy sleeping patterns can all contribute toward why you're craving something sweet or salty before bedtime. In some cases, it might even be a case of low blood sugar levels from having followed a restrictive diet through the day, notes The Economic Times.

But health experts warn of the negative consequences of eating sugar before bed. You're giving your body something more to digest and with typical desserts, this means high amounts of fat and carbs. This is going to contribute toward poor sleep quality. You will also be causing a spike in blood sugar if you snack on a cookie or piece of cake on an empty stomach right before you head off to sleep. Turns out, there are widely recommended pieces of advice about what time of day you should be eating your dessert instead — the afternoon, after lunch. 

Not only will you be curbing your nighttime food craving, but you'll also be able to enjoy a sweet treat during the day. Here are more reasons why lunch-time desserts are a better alternative.

You might be better able to control portion sizes

If your lunch is well-balanced, chances are you won't overindulge in a sweet treat, which is always a good thing. Make sure your lunch has a sufficient amount of protein because protein keeps you full for longer. 

Experts also recommend eating your meals mindfully — chewing slowly, removing distractions like phones and laptops, and being in sync with your body. This is another way to ensure that you don't overeat. "Taking these steps will let you know if you have the desire and/or room for dessert," shared registered dietitian, Kimberley Rose-Francis, with HuffPost. Mindful eating can include dessert too. Enjoy each bite and don't rush through it. 

Wanting to enjoy dessert every day isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as the time of day and portion sizes are controlled, per the experts. "By giving yourself a little bit of what you love everyday, you are ahead of the craving game by preventing them before they even start," wrote registered dietician nutritionist Brigitte Zeitlin for SELF.

You have more opportunities to burn off those calories

Giving into nighttime food cravings doesn't offer a lot of time to burn off what you just ate. Yes, your body is burning some calories as it rests because you're breathing and your heart is beating, but it's nowhere close to what you burn during the day. "If you indulge in the afternoon, you'll have the opportunity to burn off the calories throughout the rest of the day," shared functional medicine nutritionist, Kristy Rao (via Shape). You could also get up and add some movement to your day after indulging in the dessert. 

Lunch-time desserts might also be a good idea if you want to avoid things like acid-reflux, heartburn, and upset stomach, added registered dietician Sue-Ellen Anderson-Haynes (via HuffPost). 

It also helps to know that there are desserts that are healthier than you think out there. If you're really health-conscious, you can swap out some of the more unhealthy sweet treats with healthy natural sugars like fruits or combine dark chocolate with tea. "Most of the time we want dessert just for the 'taste transition' after a savory meal. And you can get a similar transition with peppermint or flavored tea," explained registered dietician nutritionist, Dawn Jackson Blatner, per Shape.