Why Eating Late isn’t Great for You!

We have recently run a series on circadian rhythms and the circadian clock in our Healthy Whole and Free Forever group, and I’ve shared some of the valuable insights we’ve learned in this video and blog.

In the past, the idea of a body clock was a common understanding, but what’s truly fascinating is that every single cell in our body has its own clock. Previously, it was believed that the digestive system functioned like a boiler, capable of processing food at any time. 

But emerging research reveals a close connection between our digestive system, circadian rhythms, and clocks within our bodies. The circadian clocks in our intestinal tract, crucial for digestion, are highly sensitive and take time to adjust. It’s essential to honour and respect these internal clocks for optimal health, especially when considering the timing of our meals.

I think we all know that eating late at night isn’t the best idea for our overall well-being, and here are the three key reasons why:

1 Saliva Production and Digestive Enzymes: When we see, think about, or start eating food, our saliva production increases, releasing enzymes that aid in digestion. Interestingly, even before the food reaches our stomach, the production of stomach acid begins. This process not only warms up your body but also makes it harder to sleep at night as elevated body temperature contradicts the natural sleep cycle.

2 Stomach Lining Repair: During the digestion process, the stomach lining is naturally damaged, and breaks in between meals are crucial for repair. Approximately 10-14% of our stomach cells change every day during this repair process. Eating too late in the evening reduces the time available for this repair, potentially leading to various health issues.

3 Intestinal Movement and Evening Eating: After eating, your body gears up for digestion, and lying down immediately hinders the intestines’ ability to efficiently push food along the digestive tract. This can result in discomfort and contribute to issues such as heartburn, indigestion, IBS, diarrhoea, or constipation.

At Fitfish, we are about striving for a better balance in our lifestyles. While we acknowledge that late-night eating may be unavoidable at times, I encourage you to consider making small shifts in your evening eating habits. Be mindful of snacking and remember that drinks, excluding water or herbal tea, also contribute to your overall intake.

Can you bring your evening eating forward slightly in your day-to-day routine? This simple adjustment might offer relief to symptoms you experience, and over time, contribute to a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.


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