What you eat, and when, impacts weight loss. In fact, some foods and drinks that are considered healthy during the day should always be avoided at night.
Naturally, you should avoid unhealthy foods such as fast food, ice cream, and pizza, and unhealthy drinks like soda and alcohol, at all times. But in this article, we’re going to focus on five seemingly healthy foods that you should avoid at night to keep your diet, weight loss, and sleep on track.
Foods to avoid before bed:
Milk contains lactose which is a form of sugar. Many people avoid milk at bedtime due to lactose intolerance or other digestive issues, but also, a sugar rush before bed can cause food cravings during the night.
If you need a drink at bedtime, try an herbal tea instead as it contains no lactose or caffeine and can help soothe you to sleep.
Protein may seem harmless. In fact, you’re encouraged to eat protein during the day to support muscle growth and rev up your metabolism. However, the beneficial effects are lost at bedtime.
Because metabolizing protein is taxing on the digestive system, eating it before bed can keep you awake and provide you with an excess that your body doesn’t need and can’t store.
3: FRUIT JUICE
If you’re thirsty, fruit juice may seem like a good option. But beware, juice contains simple sugars without any of the fiber present in whole fruits. Because of this, fruit juice will do nothing more than spike your blood sugar and send you crashing down later in the night.
Try eating a piece of fruit instead. You may even want to mix your fruit with a small amount of greek yogurt or cottage cheese. But it’s best to choose fruit with a lower sugar content, such as berries.
Although nuts are a healthy source of fat, they should be avoided at night when the body has no immediate use for it. Nuts with a high fat content, such as cashews, walnuts, macadamias, and peanuts should be avoided at all costs.
If, for some reason, you can’t help yourself, reach for almonds or pistachios – but do so sparingly.
5: LARGE PORTIONS
OK, this isn’t a food as such, but it’s one of the most important points to make about late night snacking. Not only will large portions keep you awake, they may also undo the benefits of the healthy choices you’ve made during the day. This is because your body won’t have the opportunity to use up a large dose of carbohydrate or fat right before bed and will store them instead. Often, this leads to weight gain.
STAY ON TRACK FOR WEIGHT LOSS NO MATTER THE HOUR
If you’re going to eat a snack at night, it should be fewer than 200 calories, and you must consider the macronutrients to ensure you don’t cancel out the healthy decisions you made during the day. Therefore, it’s essential to educate yourself as to what you should and shouldn’t be eating late at night. That way you can avoid making mistakes that may hinder your weight loss efforts.
So, what are you going to reach for tonight? Hopefully, you’ll think twice before making your selection.