Do bedtime snacks affect weight loss? There are always questions asked about what to eat before bed and whether eating before sleeping is a good idea at all. If you are one of those people who is addicted to midnight feasting and can’t help but eat before you hit the hay each night, let me start by offering you some reassurance – there are absolutely NO (at least not from my in-depth research) conclusive studies that suggest eating before bedtime causes weight gain – good to know if you are looking to lose weight now.
What will of course affect how much weight you put on is eating more calories than you need over the course of the day, so if your midnight forages take you over your calorie limit you will get fatter. Before we go into more depth and I share with you what to eat before bed, lets be real clear on this fact: weight gain occurs when you consume more energy than you expend – you could eat all of your daily calories after 6pm and you won’t gain any more weight than if you ate those calories earlier in the day.
With that said, here are a few examples of good food you can eat before going to bed:
Protein supplement (ideally casein protein for slow absorption)
Low fat yogurt
In addition to these foods feel free to stock up on other fibrous carbohydrates, vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and others are a good choice as well as fresh fruits. Also remember that water is vital so stock up on this before bedtime to keep you hydrated throughout the night – just be careful not to drink too much or else your sleep is likely to be interrupted by frequent trips to the bathroom.
Now you know what to eat before bed, lets discuss some of the foods you will want to avoid.
You should certainly avoid eating spicy, fatty foods and caffeinated drinks as these are prone to reduce the quality of your sleep and can lead to heartburn and acid indigestion. They types of foods are also likely to affect you when you wake up by reducing your energy and leaving you feeling sluggish and fatigued. Foods that are very high in fat are perhaps the biggest troublemakers as they slow down digestion and will exacerbate indigestion.
Alcohol should also be avoided despite the fact it can promote sleep because it commonly leads to awakening a few hours later. The biggest problem with drinking alcoholic beverages before going to sleep is that they cause dehydration and inhibit the body’s natural fat burning response.
So there you have it, you should be clear on what to eat before bed and what to avoid. Eating before you go to sleep is not the problem, it is what you eat and how much you eat throughout the day that is what you need to watch out for – pay attention to this and there is no reason at all you can’t eat after the supposed 6pm curfew and still lose weight!