Tuesday, April 16, 2013
What to eat before going to bed
You may have heard that eating before bed is a big-time "no no" for those looking to lose weight. In fact, you've probably even heard that eating late at night will undoubtedly cause you to GAIN weight...even worse!
Well, there's good news, and that good news is that not every food that you eat past 7PM will be automatically deposited to your butt, thighs, and love handles.
In fact, there are certain foods that you can eat as a late-night snack that can actually INCREASE your fatloss results! The key is knowing which foods to eat, and which to avoid, as the evening progresses.
Here's a good rule of thumb: Avoid carbs before bed in favor of slow-digesting high-quality protein.
Carbohydrate consumption causes significant rise in the storage hormone insulin, which also puts the breaks on fat-burning. That's a recipe for disaster in the late evening hours as your metabolism is winding down, but fortunately, slow-digesting protein isn't.
Instead, 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.
Here are some of my top pre-bedtime choices:
1. White Meat Protein (not red meat) - White meat animal protein sources such as chicken and turkey are great pre-bed meal choices because they digest slowly and have a very low insulin release. These sources also promote the release of another hormone, glucagon, that assists the body with breaking down stored carbs and fat within your body to be burned for energy...a double win! Red meat has a significantly higher insulin response so it's best to avoid in the evening.
2. Cottage Cheese - Cottage cheese is very slow digesting and coats the stomach to be assimilated by the body over many hours. As a protein, it also stimulates glucagon release; a solid pre-bedtime choice. Just make sure you're using plain cottage cheese, not the flavored varieties with added sugars.
3. Green Vegetables - While these aren't considered a protein, they contain virtually no calories, are high in fiber, and they're very filling. Often times when I get a late night craving I eat a big bowl of green veggies and it completely kills my craving...a diet savior!
4. A Slow-digesting, Low-carb Protein Shake - I use a slow-digesting protein shake before bed literally every day. It's become somewhat of a ritual and great, tasty way to end my day. The vast majority of my clients have grown to love the habit as well...who doesn't love dessert before bed? :) I normally blend the shake with almond butter to get some healthy fats in there, and man, it tastes good with the right protein powder.
WARNING: Avoid taking a simple whey protein powder before bed...research has show that it causes more of an insulin release than white bread! Instead, you need a time-released blend that includes a blend of slow-digesting, high-quality proteins.