To eat or NOT to eat before bed, that is the question…

bed-eatingTo eat or NOT to eat before bed, that is the question…

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.

The reason for the above "disclaimer" is that what I have learned SO clearly over the past 28 years in the health industry, 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.

My "rule" for night time eating has always been to encourage clients 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.

However, If you find yourself a little hungry before are some food suggestions for snacking close to bedtime.

1.If you are going to eat close to bedtime, TRY NOT to 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 + 1/4 avocado
  • Cold leftover chicken from dinner
  • 1-2 hardboiled eggs