Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

The 5 Best Foods To Eat Before Bed

moonWe’ve all been told eating before bed is a huge weight loss no-no.  You’ve probably even heard that it will make you gain weight.  But sometimes we will lay down at night to go to sleep and all of a sudden our stomachs start yelling at us that we didnt quite get enough of calories, etc.

Well, as we all know and probably already live by…. there are foods we can eat, foods we should eat in moderation and foods we should NEVER put in our bodies at any given time.

This is what got me interested in the science of nutrition, not just for weight loss, but how our bodies react and break down foods depending on the time of day we eat them.  That amazed me!   It was like a mystery novel I couldnt’t put down.   I became so eager to understand and know more.  For example, did you know there are only 2 times during the day to eat a banana?  Since bananas are such a high glycemic food, it is only needed at one time of day.   The only time(s) your blood sugar needs a spike is right when you wake up for the day or, if you workout, it is ok to have a small banana right before or right after a difficult workout but I would skip it (if you ate one in the morning).

Now for before bed, where we are lucky to burn 60-80 calories an hour during the night, there are actually late night snacks we can eat that can and will INCREASE your fat loss.  Here’s the key:  choose slow digesting high quality protein and healthy fats.

Slow digesting proteins provide your body with a steady flow of amino acids
throughout the night to help you recover from exercise and maintain your
calorie-burning lean muscle as you lose fat.

Ok, enough of the rant.  Here’s what you came here for:

hunger pangsTop 5 Pre-Bedtime Foods:

  1. Lean Protein – chicken and turkey digest slowly and have a very low insulin release and actually produce a hormone that helps break down stored fat
  2. Cottage Cheese – also slow digesting due to the casein protein naturally found in curded milk and cheese.  And also produces the same hormone in the body that breaks down stored fat.   Just don’t ruin this by adding fruits or raisins (sugar) to it.  Instead, add stevia and/or cinnamon.
  3. Greens – no there’s no protein, however, salads are full of fiber and there are no calories.  Which means you are burning more calories while you sleep in just digestion!  If you must use dressing, just use oil and vinegar, or lemon juice.
  4. Almonds, pecans, walnuts or pistachios – why?  because these nuts are great sources of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants PLUS fiber and healthy fats to control your late night cravings.
  5. Low carb protein shake –  low carb is the important focus here.  A lot of protein shakes are high in carbs and if you have one of those before bed it would actually be worse than having a slice of white bread!  So read your labels carefully.  Also you can add some almond butter for the above healthy fats.

By the way, these pre-bedtime foods are recommended for anyone.  Not just people trying to find their abs or lose weight.   Vegans can do 3-5, vegetarians can do 2-5 and everyone else can do any of the 5, unless you have food allergies, etc.

Enjoy! 

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May 20, 2013 - Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Discipline, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Insanity, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X2, Shakeology, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , ,

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