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We’re going to look at whether you should eat or go to bed hungry, and if you do eat, what exactly should you be eating? Fitness and Nutrition Trainer Gail Kasper tells us the best approach.

There is so much confusion as to whether it’s okay to eat before bed, or not. One of the biggest factors to consider is that your meals and snacks are well-balanced during the day so that you don’t overeat at night, and also that you stay within your range of caloric needs for proper weight loss.

The question is: Should you eat or go to bed hungry, and if you do eat, what exactly should you be eating?

No matter what, you want to feel satisfied and see success with your diet plan so I’ve identified a few things for you to consider.

#1. Monitor Your Daily Calories

The first thing to realize is that eating before bed doesn’t automatically have to mean that you are going to experience fat gain.

It’s more about what you eat and how much you eat. In other words, will this night-time food take you over your daily allotted calories. Do the math. If you are trying to lose weight and are on a 1300 calorie per day diet, you want to ensure that your calories are within the parameters. Because extending over the 1300 calories at night, will create a fat risk.

#2. Night Time Food Options

Yes, pizza and chips will impact your weight loss. The content of these foods, promotes weight gain, so you need to make sure you are eating healthy food choices, not the junk food that a lot of people eat.

So what do you eat before bed? For best results, you’ll want to focus on foods that are high in protein content along with healthy fats, and potentially add some vegetables if you like.

Protein rich foods will supply the body with amino acids during the overnight period. This will ensure that you complete the muscle rebuilding and repair process, especially if you exercised earlier that day. Now, the healthy fats will keep blood sugar stable while you sleep and also ensure that you aren’t waking up hungry.

Some of the best snacks to choose include cottage cheese, natural peanut butter, or almonds.  If you aren’t a fan of cottage cheese, Greek yogurt could also be subbed instead. The cottage cheese contains a Casein form of protein, which actually digests much more slowly in the body than regular protein does. It’s perfect for entering the overnight fasting period. And peanut butter is a fantastic source of healthy fats, essential for your diet.

Other good pre-bed snack options could be a glass of skim milk with some almonds, a small piece of meat with some vegetables, or a Casein protein shake along with a few slices of avocado. Eggs are also a great option.

Now don’t forget to beware of too many carbohydrates before bed (AVOID SIMPLE CARBS). Especially the simple carbs. Simple carbs are a definite no-no as they will encourage fat gain. Examples of simple carbs include fruit, foods with white flour and sweets.

So there you have it – a few rules to keep in mind for bedtime eating. Your goal is to supply your body with the nutrients it needs to be healthy, burn fat, and restore and rebuild muscle. Unhealthy choices will pack on the pounds – there’s no escape. 

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