Fortunately, the reality is not completely black and white. There are people who shouldn’t eat before bed, and those who are actually prescribed. And then, of course, what you’re eating also matters a lot.
If your goal is weight management, you really shouldn’t be overly concerned about your calorie intake. Whitney English Tabaie, RDN, the author of Plant-Based Infants and Toddlers: Your complete feeding guide for 6 months to 3 years. “One calorie is one calorie. It doesn’t matter when it is eaten, the same amount of calories has the same energy potential and contributes equally to your total daily intake, ”she explains. With that said, the holistic nutritionist Tamar Samuels, RD, CDN, points out that if a snack causes you to exceed your daily goals, then it can be detrimental to weight management efforts.
Blood sugar issues are also something to keep in mind when you are arguing about a bedtime snack. “Some people have low blood sugar, which can cause panic attacks, anxiety and a fast heartbeat,” says Samuels. “Eating before bed can really be really helpful for this demographic, to make sure their blood sugar doesn’t get too low.” This may also be true for people with type 1 diabetes, she added: “They may need a snack before bed to make sure their blood sugar doesn’t get too low overnight, because they rely on insulin outside the body to regulate their blood sugar. “
If you’re pregnant, bedtime snacking may be recommended for the same reason – it helps regulate your blood sugar. In addition, it can be helpful in making sure you and your baby get enough calories, says Samuels.
On the other hand, stomach problems could be an argument against late-night snacking. “Our digestive system actually slows down at night, too – our organs work on circadian rhythms,” says Samuels. “If you have flatulence, bloating, constipation, diarrhea or any kind of GI problem, then cutting out food 2-4 hours before bed is really helpful.”
For more, here is a dietitian’s guide to gut health:
If you’re after a good night’s sleep, you may also want to reconsider your drowsiness routine. “Eating too close to bedtime may disrupt sleep for some,” says Tabaie. “Food activates our bodies to release insulin, which works in opposition to the body’s sleep hormone, melatonin. Eating too much or too close to your bed can decrease your body’s production of melatonin and make it harder for you to fall asleep. She advises clients to stop eating 2-3 hours before bed for optimal sleep.
Certain foods are also more likely to cause sleep disturbances than others. “High-sugar, low-fiber foods like cookies, candies or ice cream will raise your blood sugar more and increase your insulin production while foods high in fat and low in refined carbohydrates will produce less response. more blood sugar / insulin, ”Tabaie said.
For the ultimate supper, Samuels emphasizes the importance of protein and says that if you like carbs at night, take protein with them. “TShe says that caps can help stabilize your blood sugar. “It will also keep you from eating more because protein is very saturated. “She also noted that carbs aren’t necessarily bad when eaten at night—they help with the production of serotoninIn fact, this helps with melatonin production – but it’s important to combine them with protein and make sure you’re not just consuming straight sugar.
If you’re the type that likes sweetness, Samuels recommends pairing dark chocolate, such as with nut butter or adding dark chocolate crumbs in protein-rich Greek yogurt. She also recommends a combination of sweet potatoes and almond butter, which she admits sounds weird but really delicious. Meanwhile, nuts, balanced smoothies (containing healthy fats, complex carbs and protein) and dairy yogurt are Tabaie’s best bedtime snack recommendations. During an episode of Well + Good’s video series on YouTube You versus food, Tracy Lockwood BeckermanMS, RD, claim bananas with peanut butter are the best snacks for better sleep.
“Research also shows that adjusting eating time in accordance with the circadian rhythm has the greatest disease prevention benefits, ”Said Tabaie. “This means eating in the morning and resting your intestines at night, which means you will naturally stop eating a few hours before going to bed.”
In short, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to bedtime snacks and Samuels reiterates that whether this practice is right for you depends on your fish’s health, needs and wants. multiply you. Eating before bed is neither “bad” nor “good” and Samuels recommends experimenting to see what’s effective and what’s ineffective in terms of digestion, sleep, weight, etc. “You can eat before bed and have good results for your health. “It just depends.”
To learn more about how to eat before bed, check out this video:
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