Ever wonder why you get the midnight munchies? Your brain’s reward centre is less receptive to food in the evening, which means that you need more high-kilojoule junk at night to satisfy a craving, suggests new research from Brigham Young University.
“In the morning, you’re driven to eat because you need energy for your day. At night, your body is shutting down, so it makes sense that food wouldn’t be as rewarding,” says study author Travis Masterson.
But you don’t have to feel powerless to the pull of the refrigerator. Even just seeing the tempting food can trigger a craving and make you want to chow down.
Try this: the study suggests that keeping tempting treats out of sight may make you less likely to over-consume your after-dinner snacks. Don’t keep a biscuit tin on your counter, for example – store it in a cupboard so you can’t see it. Fast-forwarding your way through food ads on your DVR can also work. Or drop and do 10 push-ups every time one comes on TV.
“It’s a strategy to avoid becoming over-stimulated,” Masterson says.