Will Eating Before Sleep Make You Gain Weight?
Will Eating Before Bed Make You Gain Weight? With Mini Wheats and Lays Chips It Might! Read this before you have a Pre-Bedtime Snack! Eat Well and you will Sleep Well in your Life.
It’s 10pm and you are winding down for bed. You feel that familiar pang in your stomach. Shoot, you’re hungry. And breakfast is a long night away.
You don’t want to go to bed hungry, but you’ve heard that eating before sleep causes weight gain. What do you do? Toss and turn or get up and have a snack?
There has been a lot of research on eating before sleep. For the most part, studies have concluded that meal frequency or timing doesn’t really matter. Calories can’t tell time.
What DOES matter is the types of foods and quantities that you are consuming. If you eat 2,000 calories in a day and burn 2,000 calories, you’ll maintain your weight. If you eat more calories than you burn you’ll gain weight. If you eat less calories than you burn (safely through diet and exercise) you’ll lose weight. It’s a simple equation of calories in vs calories out. So no, if you eat a healthy diet and balance calories in vs. calories out, eating before bed won’t pack on the pounds.
The reason eating before sleep is tied to weight gain is because if you wait to eat until late at night, it can lead to overeating. Yet remember, it’s the food that is making you fat in this case, not the fact that you’re eating before bed. If you must eat later at night, plan your meals out ahead of time and don’t eat more than you intended.
Also remember, there’s a big difference between a bag of Lays and a nutrient dense snack. And there’s also a big difference between mindful eating (eating when you are hungry) and mindless eating (eating when you are bored, stressed, anxious, sad, etc). Listen to your body!
If you are physically hungry before bed, then your body is asking you for nutrition. It’s important you give it something wholesome, a choice that will help you sleep well and recover. Remember, food is fuel. As long as you eat the right things, it’s absolutely fine to eat at night — and unless you’re really off on your portion sizes, your body will actually be stronger and fitter because of it.
Personally, I eat a pre-bedtime snack almost every day. My life in San francisco moves fast and I find myself needing more fuel to support my lifestyle. When I listen to my body and honor it’s hunger cues, I get the nutrition I need to move at top speed and sleep like a baby. And even with a pre-bedtime snack, I still wake up still hungry for my favorite meal: breakfast! My metabolism moves fast thanks to regular, healthy meals and exercise.
Here are some of my favorite pre-bedtime foods that help me sleep soundly and feel strong the next morning.
Bedtime Snacks That Won’t Make You Gain Weight
Vega® Clean Protein Chocolate Milkshake.
This sweet treat is filled with a good for you plant-based protein blend made from pea, hemp, alfalfa, and pumpkin. With 130 calories a serving and 25 grams of complete, premium protein, this shake is sure to fill you up and help you recover while you sleep.
- 1 cup almond milk or water
- 1 apple (optional, but adds fiber and thickness)
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 scoop Chocolate Vega® Clean Protein
- Handful of ice
Directions: Put in blender. Blend. Simple and fast bedtime snack!
Late night omelette.
Another great option full of protein and fat to keep you full. If you like savory, eggs are a good pre-bedtime snack for you.
Here’s a recipe for sweet dreams with chocolate protein pudding. Fill your tummy with fuel and satisfy your sweet tooth too.
- 1 cup blueberries
- ½ cup soaked almonds
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- 1 serving Vega® Clean Protein
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder (or unsweetened chocolate powder)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½–1 cup Almond Milk Beverage
Directions: Prepare in the morning and blend all ingredients until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Grab a spoon and enjoy!
Instead of eating oatmeal at breakfast, you may want to consider consuming it as a pre-bedtime snack. Oats contain melatonin, which will aid your body in relaxing and falling asleep. It’s my favorite pre-bedtime choice. Click here for my growing overnight oatmeal recipe
Apple + 1–2 Tbsp nut butter
I love this as a late night snack especially with a good, chilled, crunchy apple. You can use almond butter or any other nut butter.
Bottom line: Listen to your body and honor it. Focus your efforts on the quality and quantity of what you eat more then when you eat it. Do this and you’ll always be fueled for success!
Do you eat before bed? What is your favorite pre-bedtime snack? Let me know in the comments below.
Sweet Dreams my friends,
If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve your health and happiness, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.
Originally published at www.carolinejordanfitness.com on June 5, 2016.