Not eating before sleeping isn’t an iron clad rule. It really isn’t about eating or not eating before sleeping, but rather what you eat and how much you eat.
If your primary goal is weight loss, try not to have these within 3 hours of your bedtime.
- High carbohydrate foods such as bread products, grains, rice, etc
- High sugar or alcoholic drinks
- Unhealthy fats, fried foods, potato chips, etc
- High sugar foods like ice cream
- Too much of anything
A great way to feel fuller is to eat a balanced meal, lean proteins, high fiber carbohydrates, a bit of healthy fat, and lots of vegetables for dinner! If you are eating mindfully and healthfully throughout the day, 3 meals and 2-3 snacks, and drinking enough water, chances are you won’t feel hungry right before bedtime.
When you sleep, your body doesn’t need food, but rather, it takes from your stored calories. If you eat right before sleeping, your body will use and burn those calories you just consumed. If you haven’t eaten right before sleeping, your body will look for stored fat to burn off. So essentially, you loose loose weight as you sleep!
If you must have a snack before bedtime, try not to eat so much that you’re too full by morning and skip breakfast (which can mess with your metabolism) or that indigestion or discomfort make sleep difficult.
Here are some healthy options for late night snacking!
- Cottage Cheese: contains casein protein, which releases slowly into the body
- Cherries or cherry juice: increase melatonin (a hormone that makes you feel tired) in the body
- Apple and Almond/Peanut Butter: apples have lots of fiber, and the nut butter will be filling without feeling too heavy
- Nonfat Greek Yogurt: Contains about 100 to 150 calories, as well as tryptophan from the dairy, which will help you relax
- Baby Carrots: a low calorie snack
- Lowfat String Cheese: Cheese has the amino acid tryptophan, which could help make you drowsy