6 Foods to Eat Before Bed That Can Help You Lose Weight
You’ve heard the standard weight loss advice “Eating before bed is bad for you”. But is it true? Late night cravings for food tend to be high calorie and loaded with sugar or fat which will always cause weight gain. But some late-night snacks can be good for you.
Sleep, nutrition, and weight loss are all connected. To lose weight, you need to sleep well and eat nutritious food.
Studies have shown that small, nutrient-dense bedtime snacks can benefit metabolic health and help build muscle, especially if you exercised during the day. And sleep. Sleep is highly underrated. With poor sleep being one of the single strongest risk factors for obesity, improving your sleep can start you down the road of weight loss. Double that with late night snacks that contain the nutrients to improve your sleep quality as well as low calorie and you have yourself a winning formula.
So next time you are hunting around after dinner for a snack, make the following foods your go to choices.
Cottage Cheese Helps Build Muscle While You Sleep
Cottage cheese is high in nutrients, and tends to be low in fat and calories. While this is great for watching your waistline, it is not what makes it a remarkable bedtime snack. Cottage cheese is predominantly made up of a milk protein called casein. Casein is a slow digesting protein that is well-known to sustain overnight muscle repair and growth.
This means it can actively help build muscle while you sleep, which is why it is such a popular late-night snack in bodybuilding communities. A small bowl with berries or smudge some on some carrot sticks. The high protein content of cottage cheese will ensure you feel full for longer whilst providing muscle repairing nutrients.
Bananas Boost Weight Loss and Relaxation
If you have more of a sweet-tooth, bananas are a fantastic late-night snack choice. They are full of important nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and fibre. If you choose bananas that are greenish (not fully ripe), then they are also high in resistant starch. Fibre and resistant starch may help you feel full and less hungry, which leads to a reduction in calorie intake.
Bananas are also a great source of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that can make you sleepy. It is converted into the sleep hormone melatonin, helping you get a good night’s sleep. Remember, people who do not sleep enough tend to be much more overweight than those who do. At only 100 calories per banana, they are a nutrient dense snack that can help you catch more zzzs whilst keeping your healthy eating intact.
Almonds Promote Restful Sleep
Almonds are rich in magnesium, a nutrient vital for maintaining melatonin levels and sleep clocks. One handful of almonds contains about 150 mg of magnesium, which is a very healthy dose of this mineral that has been shown to improve sleep quality, sleep duration and other measures of insomnia. Sleep is crucial to weight loss, and almonds may be just the snack to ensure you get a full, restful night’s sleep. Just be careful not to go overboard with a bag of almonds beside you, keep it to a handful of natural non-roasted almonds.
Turkey for Protein and Regulating Sleep
Turkey is a relatively low-calorie meat that contains high-quality protein. Increasing the amount of quality protein in your diet is incredibly important for weight loss, as it reduces appetite much more effectively than either fat or carbs. And, just like bananas, turkey also contains high amounts of relaxing tryptophan, which can help you fall asleep faster.
Turkey is a great weight-loss food that also promotes improved sleep. It is high in nutrients and low in calories — a thin slice or two before bed won’t cost you more than 100 calories.
Canned Tuna for Overall Health and Well-Being
Omega-3 fats are incredibly important for optimal body and brain function. Frankly, we should all be eating far more omega-3 fats. Optimal body and brain function, as well as restful sleep, are important for weight loss. A lean source of protein and the ease of eating it straight from the pantry cupboard makes canned tuna or salmon a must for the weight conscious.
Still battling the sweet cravings? A cup of cherries contains only 50 calories, so they are a weight-friendly choice. Several studies have shown that cherries can help improve sleep; one small study of people with chronic insomnia found that cherry juice greatly reduced the severity of sleeplessness. In fact, the effects were equal to or even exceeded treatment with valerian. Cherries cause a great increase in the body’s secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin, which is thought to be responsible for the sleepiness effects.
Bedtime snacks are not inherently bad for weight loss diets. In fact, some foods may promote both weight loss and restful slumber — all while you’re sleeping.
As with many other aspects of nutrition, what matters is what and how much you eat.
For a customised dietary plan to fit your particular needs and taste, book your consultation with Carly, the Naturopath Melbourne CBD today.