Eating Before Bed

DO YOU EAT JUST BEFORE BED?

eating-before-bedEating before bed is very dangerous for our body balance but many of us do it, and it’s no secret. Whether we work late at night and cannot get dinner in at a normal time, or we do it out of habit: we eat right before we go to bed. Typically this food is not healthy and tends to have a lot of calories and fat. It is a natural thing to reach for these rich, high calorie foods when it is dark and cold outside because it is reminiscent of Paleolithic days of hiding inside a cave at night trying to stay alive, and they would eat as much as they could at night in order to avoid starvation. Back then, it made sense to eat as much as possible late at night but in today’s world we do not need to worry about starvation or outrunning a sabretooth tiger.

Eating right before bedtime might not seem like a big deal, but it is. At night, when you are sleeping, everything inside slows down: your heart, lungs, digestion system, even your blood just pumps more slowly. This decrease in movement means a decrease in metabolism. Decrease in metabolism means a decrease in calories burned and we all know excess calories turns into fat to be used later, which does not ever get used because we typically are quite sedentary compared to our caveman predecessors.

Here are some tips to avoid eating before bed late at night

Check the contents of your kitchen. Are there appetizers, snacks and other high calorie foods in your kitchen cupboards and refrigerator which you normally would not eat because they are too high in calories? Get rid of it all. If you come home at night and are hungry, you tend to reach for these high calorie comfort foods instead of the healthy snacks like carrots or lean protein.

Maintain a good supply of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and fiber-rich foods. Make sure you always have a healthy meal at home or at least ingredients that you can quickly turn into a meal. Have healthy meals on the table within as short a time as possible. Think ahead, and rejoice in the fact that waiting for you at home is a healthy, quick meal that you will not feel guilty about eating, instead of just going for the fast food drive-through or brie and crackers.

Eat fairly early in the evening, but be sure to have fiber-rich foods and lean proteins to ensure you stay full so you are not tempted to eat later on in the evening. If you are still hungry, grab a handful of baby carrots or a sweet crunchy apple.

Make breakfast the most important meal of the day. Go for a high fiber breakfast, rich in complex carbohydrates like fruits, and proteins that will give you the energy to make it through the day without eating everything in sight from hunger. Be sure to choose things you like. Maybe it can help you resist the temptation to eat late at night if you are sure you have a delicious breakfast awaiting you in the morning.

Go for several small snacks during the day rather than two or three large meals. Divide your meals into four or five times smaller meals and snacks. This will help prevent you overeating at dinner and late at night.

Plan your evening meal around fresh vegetables, raw or cooked, with a little fruit and lean protein. The complex carbs in fruits in vegetables, paired with the lean protein, and a bit of healthy fat (such as olive oil or an ounce of nuts), will keep feeling fuller longer and help prevent you feeling puckish later on.

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