Should You Eat Before Bedtime??!

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Isabel gives us her thoughts and findings and we agree- what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for all, therefore we think you’ll find this to be of interest. Isabel writes…

Eating before bed is such a controversial issue in the health and fitness industry.

Some people say in order to lose weight, you have to stop eating by a certain time while others claim that in order to effectively lose fat, you have to eat before bed (oh don’t you just love weight loss controversy?).

What I will share today is my firsthand experience with real world results and the methods that have worked for myself and my clients.  I am not claiming that one method is right and the other method is wrong.  What I hope to do is give you some viable options to use on yourself and see what your body responds best to.

The reason for the above “disclaimer” is that what I have learned SO clearly over the past 13 years of being a nutritionist is that every person is different, and learning what works best for YOU is something that will help you maintain a lean, toned body and healthy habits long term.

Now, back to the matter at hand….

To eat or NOT to eat before bed, that is the question…(all of a sudden I’m Shakespeare).

My “rule” for night time eating has always been to encourage clients and readers to stop all eating 2-3 hours before bed.  This rule would always accomplish 2 things:

Number 1, people would just naturally eat less.  Why?  Because most people do a good amount of eating after dinner while just “hanging out”, not because they were hungry, but in most cases because they were bored.  Giving people a cutoff time eliminated a lot of mindless snacking.

Number 2, people would be more inclined to eat a wholesome, well rounded dinner that included a healthy amount of protein and good fats to make sure they were not hungry later on.  Knowing they were not going to be able to just grab “something” (i.e. snacking) after dinner, made them eat more protein and fat at dinner that would keep them satisfied longer.

It was always my own personal rule to stop eating after dinner.  My husband and I always ate dinner by 6:30pm, and I am usually in bed by 9:30pm, so this always worked well for me…UNTIL…

(Insert scary music)

The kids arrived….

Oh those kiddos have such a way of changing your entire life, don’t they?

Now, we have to eat dinner by 5:30pm in order to do baths, book time and then bed time by 8pm.  The first few nights we started the early eating schedule I noticed I was going to bed hungry…and nobody likes hungry Isabel.  I absolutely can’t sleep if I’m hungry, so I started having a little something around 8pm after the kids went to sleep.

If you find yourself in a similar situation…a little hungry before bed…here are some food suggestions for snacking close to bedtime.

  1. If you are going to eat close to bedtime, do not, and let me repeat, DO NOT have a carbohydrate-rich snack. When you ingest carbohydrates, your body releases insulin to control your blood sugar. Insulin is a fat STORING hormone and not something you want abundantly flowing through your system before bed.

  2. Eat protein with a little bit of fat before bed. Protein and fat keep you satisfied longer and will not release a huge amount of insulin in your body. As a matter of fact, it will release the opposing hormone, glucagon, which is a fat BURNING hormone.

Some examples of good Protein + Fat snacks before bed:

(Remember – these are not full blown meals.  These would be considered a “little something” in order to not go to bed hungry.)

  •         Sliced natural turkey (I make my own and cut it up) + 1/4 avocado
  •         Cold leftover chicken from dinner (I have no problem eating cold leftovers)
  •         1-2 hardboiled eggs
  •         Protein Powder Chia Seed Pudding*

*This last one is my own ridiculously delicious concoction and even though I have had people tell me it looks really weird, you know me by now…I’ve never cared what other people think.

Isabel’s Yummy Protein & Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients

  •         1 Scoop Chocolate or Vanilla Protein Powder 
  •         1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  •         4 Tbsps water or coconut milk

Directions

Just mix all ingredients together.  Sometimes I eat it right away for a quick fix, but due to the nature of chia seeds, the longer you let it sit (stirring it every 10 minutes or so) up to 45 minutes the more “pudding” consistency it will become.

You can double the recipe if you feel like you need a bit more.  Remember, this is just what I call “a little something” before bed.  Not a huge meal.

JEANNIE HERE… Isabel is right on! whether at night or during the day, to kill hunger eat some fat- FAT BOMB? Greatest discovery ever!

TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH!

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About talknshare

My study of how to achieve and keep good health began when I was 18 and has been my lifelong passion. I have learned much over the years and when my T.O.P.S. group dissolved, I created Talk 'N Share. Life happened and I have not done anything with it until now. Since the beginning of this year I have learned many important things and wish to share with others, who like myself, may find it nearly impossible to lose those last few pounds and maintain the loss already achieved.
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