10 Foods to Avoid Before Bed
Whether or not you should eat before bed has been a dieting debate for years. So what’s the truth about evening meals and snacks? And what should you avoid?
First off, we need to settle the debate. Eating before bed is actually okay, and it can actually boost your metabolism to help you burn more calories while you sleep. What matters is what you eat.
The problems with eating at night ultimately arise with making the wrong food choices, whether it’s what you’re eating for dinner or snacking on later in the evening. Some foods are just going to add to the problem and stall your weight loss efforts. Foods high in sugars and carbohydrates are especially bad because you won’t have the opportunity to burn off these calories.
Here are some serious culprits you need to avoid…
10 of the Worst Things to Eat Before Bed
Although it’s a popular comfort food, it should be avoided at night. It’s full of unhealthy fats that take a long time to digest, and the sugar is only going to add to the problem.
The carbs in pasta, whether white or whole wheat, are still going to cause a spike in your blood glucose levels, screwing up both your sleep and your metabolism. The calories from pasta are more likely to get converted to fat when you’re sedentary.
Probably one of the most popular evening snacks, crackers are just full of carbs and absent of any real nutritional value.
And chips are even worse than crackers. In addition to carb-loading, you’re also fat-loading, and it’s not the good kind of fat. The salt is also going to make you bloated before bed. Chips are really one of the worst things to eat any time of the day, but this is especially true at night.
Pizza is also full of carbohydrates, and the worst kinds. In fact, you’re basically doubling up on the carbs in every slice of pizza compared to a slice of bread. And all that cheese is not conducive to your weight loss goals.
You’re probably getting the carbohydrate theme by this point, but they really should be avoided in all forms before bed. In terms of bread, even whole grain bread should not be eaten at night. Instead, go for foods high in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
It’s still better than candy or anything with processed sugar, but fruit should be eaten earlier in the day so that you have the opportunity to burn off the natural sugars, which can also be converted to fat. A better alternative would be berries like blackberries or raspberries which are on the low-end of the fructose scale.
There’s a similar line of reasoning with starchy vegetables, which can result in extra calories stored as fat if not used up during exercise and physical activity. Potatoes and peas, for example, should be reserved for earlier in the day.
Believe it or not, celery contains natural diuretic properties, which means it’s more likely to get you up at night going pee at least once and prevent you from having a good night’s sleep.
Because it takes so long to digest, red meat is going to keep your metabolism a little too high through the night, potentially preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep and throwing off your metabolism as a result.
So what should you eat before bed?
Generally speaking, the most nutritional foods are best. High protein foods like chicken, salmon, eggs, and nuts are all great. Most veggies and fruits low in sugar (like blueberries) are also fantastic options. Not only will these foods be satisfying, they’ll also stabilize your metabolism during sleep and help you shed a few extra calories.
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