One of the recommendations you may frequently hear, for preventing weight gain and fat storage, is not to eat at night before going to sleep.
However, it isn’t necessary to avoid eating in the evening. And if you eat the right food and nutrient combination, you can actually increase the recovery and benefits that your muscles get from exercise and working out.
But the key words are ‘right foods’, because yes – nighttime eating can be a big weight loss and fat burning problem.
Consider the following guidelines for the best foods to eat before going to bed:
Avoid Eating Carbohydrates
The problem with carbohydrates is that they can cause a significant release of insulin, and remember that it is also a fat storage hormone. So, causing your insulin and blood sugar levels to increase at night and through your sleep, when your metabolism is also at its lowest – gives you no opportunity to burn or use the carbs, and this can result in increased weight gain.
The best time to eat carbohydrates is after a high intensity resistance workout – providing that you also combine these into a high protein meal.
The reason for this comes from the metabolism increasing nature of the exercise. As a result, the insulin increase will be used to transport the protein back to your muscles, instead of into your fat cells.
Eat Proteins That Are Slow Digesting
Avoid the night time carbohydrates and replace them with slow digesting proteins like chicken or turkey, and plain cottage cheese is also a great protein that is slow to be digested.
The benefit of these protein sources is that besides not increasing insulin levels, they release a hormone called glucagon – glucagon is known to help your body to be able to breakdown any fat and carbohydrates that are being store.
You don’t want to eat red meat before bedtime, because it is a protein that increases insulin.
And what I think is the best protein to eat at night, and it is certainly the quickest and easiest to prepare, is a protein powder blend a make a low carb shake with it. Protein blends are beneficial, because they include proteins that digest at different rates while you are sleeping; be sure that casein protein is in the blend.
This is why you want to be sure not to use whey protein only – it is digested and absorbed by the body very quickly, and will cause a high insulin release.
Eat Some Quality Fat
Yes fat, providing it is a healthy fat like almond butter; I am thinking about protein shakes again.
A couple helpful benefits that you can get from eating fats is further slowing of digesting that protein you have eaten, along with making your fill fuller and ever more satisfied. This in turn will keep you from eating as much during the night.
Eating a relatively low to moderate calorie high protein and fat ‘meal’ is supposed to be tactical for burning weight and fat – don’t override this by eating all night and accumulating a bunch of extra calories, which would be completely counterproductive.
Chocolate Almond Bedtime Smoothie
Here is a recipe for a chocolate almond smoothie. This is one of my favorite protein smoothies for any time of day, although if it wasn’t nighttime I would add coffee to make it a mocha flavor.
- 2 scoops of BioTrust Low Carb Chocolate
- 1 cup of unsweetened chocolate almond milk
- 1/4 cup of cottage cheese
- 1 tbsp of natural almond butter
- Add a few ice cubes to make this thicker like a shake
Macros: 305 calories – 32 grams of protein [BioTrust Low Carb and cottage cheese are both high in casein] – 9.75 grams of net carbohydrates [14.75g carb – 5g fiber] – 13.75 grams of fat.