There’s a common well known myth out there that eating a couple hours before bed turns what you eat into body fat. This is a complete myth and it baffles me how many people believe this to be true.
The only thing that determines if a person puts on more weight is if they have a calorie surplus throughout the day. Your body doesn’t stop metabolizing when you sleep. Therefore, you don’t have to worry you’ll do more damage giving into those hunger cravings at night.
Instead, focus on how many calories you are eating the entire day.If you have some wiggle room you can satisfy your late night hunger cravings. An active male needs on average 2,400 to 3,000 calories a day to maintain your current weight. An active female needs 2,000 to 2,400 calories to maintain your current weight. The more active one is, the more calories one needs in that range to maintain their weight. The only way to lose weight is to create a calorie deficiency where you burn more calories than consume. Eating a 200 calorie snack during the day or at night is still a 200 calorie snack.
What are Some Healthy Snacks Before Bed
Now that you know that snacking before bed is the same as snacking at any other time during the day, it’s time you figure out some healthy snacks. When looking for a healthy snack while losing weight or gaining muscle, you want to make sure you balance your macro-nutrients. Essentially what you want to do is make sure your snack doesn’t imbalance your macro-nutrients for the day. If you’re lacking in protein for the day choose something high in protein such as a boiled egg, or almonds. If you’re lacking in healthy fats then a scoop of peanut butter or having it with an apple might be another alternative.
The main point is, a late night snack should be treated as any other snack time. My personal go to snack before bed is a protein shake. In fact, a study in 2012 done by Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands found that a protein shake before bed assisted with muscle recovery in athletes. A protein bar can also be beneficial to get rid of hunger pains without messing up your macro-nutrient balance. I always opt for casein protein instead of whey when it comes time for bed because it gives a steady dose of protein throughout the night to help prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue overnight.
Your Personal Preference
When it comes down to eating before bed, you should plan it out. If for example you are on a 1,700 calorie a day diet and you’ve ate around 1,500 calories by the end of dinner for the day; you can eat a 200 calorie snack between dinner and bedtime if you’re hungry later. It is that kind of planning that should be done. For the sake of your diet, skip the snack if you’ve reached your calorie limit. You’re much better off eating a healthier breakfast in the morning.
What are some of your favorite snacks before bed?