Getting rid of excess pounds and staying in shape requires hard work, determination and focus. But, you also need to rein in harmful lifestyle habits that can cause you to gain weight overnight, literally. Midnight snacking has acquired a bad name for this very reason.

Midnight cravings are almost always restricted to fatty, sugary or fried goodies. Binging on them helps us get over the pre-sleep craving and go to bed satiated and happy. But, these foodstuffs also make you pile on stubborn pounds that throw your weight loss plan into jeopardy.

Processed food may be quick, simple and indulgent, but it also tends to be sugary and low in fiber. Sugars stimulate insulin production, which can make you hungry again in a few hours or you will wake you up feeling famished.

Everything that you eat close to bed time will not result in weight gain. But in most cases, it does because you have already reached your calorie limit for the day and what you eat at night just makes for excess.

Another major problem associated with the habit of midnight snacking is that it overworks your internal organs. The internal organs or systems like the digestive system, the excretory system or the heart do not sleep. But, they do take time off for maintenance and repair, and will not function optimally during those hours. So, eating at odd hours can result in poor digestion, overeating and even poor memory formation. This is because of your circadian clock getting confused. The best you can do for overall health is to match your food consumption with natural light exposure.

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Here is what your internal organs have to say about your love for midnight munchies.