I always try my absolute hardest not to eat before I go to bed and it's incredibly hard because that's the best snacking time, right? Well I decided to do some research to see if this torture was needed to lose and/or stay at my healthy weight.
Your last meal (aka dinner) should be consumed 2-3 hours prior to you saying goodnight. However, if you are starving, feel free to grab a snack before you crash. A snack meaning a banana, 1/2 an avocado, 1/2 cup of cottage cheese or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. You're basically looking for something that will cure the hunger but not give you that bloated or full feeling. Check out my list of snacks under 200 calories for some more examples. If you are trying to lose weight, try to go to bed on an empty stomach. If you are finding that difficult, chug some water or have a small glass of milk.
Here are some facts to back this up:
• Eating too much, especially carbohydrates, late at night increases your fatty storage and therefore will increase your fat. Duh.
• Eating high-glycemic carbs (pasta, potatoes, white rice, sugar, etc.) right before bed will spike your insulin levels and slow down your nighttime Human Growth Hormone (HGH) production. That's very bad because about 80% of this fat-burning, muscle-building "super hormone" is released during sleep.
• If you fast for 11 hours (8 pm to 7 am for instance) your body will begin burning significant amounts of fat around the 5th hour (1 am) and continue to do so until you wake up.
To maximize your last meal of the day, it should consist of:
• A lean protein (like baked chicken breast) and low-calorie, fibrous carbohydrates (veggies and fruits) - avoid all starchy carbs close to bedtime (breads, pastas, rice, potatoes, etc.)
• If, like many of us, you get big-time carb cravings right before bed.....eat some carbs! Just make sure they're the high-fiber, low-glycemic kind: apples, berries, peaches, plums, bran cereal, fresh vegetables, vegetable juice, etc.
• If you're currently strength training to build muscle, a great end-of-the-day meal option is low-fat cottage cheese (full of slowly-digested casein protein) with no-sugar-added fresh or canned fruit.
To sum it up, don't hate yourself if you have a little snack before you hit the sack. However, if you're striving for that summer body and trying to knock a few pounds off, try satisfying that late night craving with water and you'll wake up a skinnier you!
Some of this information was taken from this article:
Feeling weak, anxious and unconnected to my body lead me to start exercising. I joined a dance class once a week and after every dance class I had a glow about me, and it wasn't just from the sweat that I built up in class, it was something more. I realized it was the endorphins that were being produced from the physical activity I was doing. That was 13 years ago. Since then I have devoted my career life to helping other humans, like yourself, kick butt in their health and fitness goals. If you're looking for a helping hand or not even knowing where you should start... I would be more than honoured to help!