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What To Eat Before Bed To Lose Weight: Top 14 Foods

What To Eat Before Bed To Lose Weight: Top 14 Foods

Exploring the right Weight Loss Foods to Eat Before Bed can transform your approach to shedding pounds. It's a common misconception that eating before bed invariably leads to weight gain. However, choosing the right foods can actually support your weight loss goals.

This guide unveils the top 14 foods that not only satisfy those late-night cravings but also assist in burning fat while you sleep. Dive into the science behind why certain foods can lead to weight gain at night and discover how to choose bedtime snacks into your diet for optimal weight management.

Eat Food at Night Without Gaining Weight: Is It Feasible? 

 

Yes, it is possible to eat certain foods at night without gaining weight, as they can support your metabolism and promote calorie burn while sleeping. According to a study published in the Journal Nutrients, an ideal bedtime snack should contain 150 to 250 calories. It should be a combination of fiber-rich carbohydrates and protein to provide satiety and help your body utilize protein sources to build muscle.

Consuming typical desserts or junk foods like ice cream, pie, or chips is not advisable. These foods are high in unhealthy fats and added sugars, which can trigger cravings and overeating, making it easy to exceed your daily calorie needs.

If you have a craving for sweets, consider eating berries or a small portion of dark chocolate. If you prefer salty snacks, choose a handful of nuts instead.

14 Best Weight Loss Foods To Eat Before Bed

14 Best Weight Loss Foods To Eat Before Bed

Discover best weight loss foods to eat before bed: 

1. Greek Yogurt

2. Cottage Cheese

3. Almonds

4. Turkey

5. Cherries

6. Fish

7. Whole Grain Crackers

8. Kiwi

9. Bananas

10. Peanut Butter 

11. Oatmeal

12. Chamomile Tea

13. Hard-Boiled Eggs

14. String Cheese

Now let's dive into the details! 

1. Greek Yogurt

Compared to traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt provides an abundant amount of protein that can keep you feeling full for longer periods. Besides, Greek yogurt also includes tryptophan, an amino acid that helps relax and improve sleep quality (sleep helps healthy weight loss as well). Consuming a small cup of Greek yogurt can also help reduce the likelihood of indulging in ice cream later on.

If you want to reduce your sugar intake, choose plain yogurt and add fresh berries or cherries for natural sweetness. Berries are rich in antioxidants that can help alleviate oxidative stress caused by sleep disorders.

2. Cottage Cheese

According to a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, Cottage cheese is a great source of protein, with 12 grams in just half a cup. This protein can help you stay full until morning, while tryptophan can promote a good night's sleep. To add some sweetness, you can pair cottage cheese with freshly sliced mango or pineapple. These fruits are rich in vitamin B6, which helps produce serotonin and melatonin, both of which can lead to restful sleep.

3. Almonds

Almonds are a great alternative to popcorn when you crave something crunchy or salty at night. Unlike popcorn, almonds are a rich source of protein and magnesium. Almonds contain melatonin which regulates sleep and wake cycles and can help reduce insomnia. Despite their high calorie content, they can also help reduce abdominal fat and prevent cardiometabolic diseases. Studies suggest that following a low-calorie diet enriched with almonds is more effective in reducing body weight than a complex carbohydrate-enriched diet.

4. Turkey

Turkey is a popular food known for its high levels of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is used by the body to produce serotonin and melatonin - two neurotransmitters that help regulate sleep. However, it's important to note that tryptophan needs to be paired with carbohydrates in fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes… to cross the blood-brain barrier and be effective in promoting sleepiness.

For a healthy bedtime snack, consider layering a few slices of roasted turkey on a slice of whole-grain or wheat bread offers a range of other health benefits, such as increased fiber, vitamins, and minerals. To reduce the fat content, skip out on the mayonnaise and opt for a small amount of mustard, which adds a tangy flavor without adding unnecessary calories.

5. Cherries

Cherries, especially tart cherries, are one of the few natural sources of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep cycles.

Consuming cherries or cherry juice before bed can increase melatonin levels in the body, improving sleep quality and duration, which is beneficial for weight management.

weght-loss-foods-to-eat-before-bed-cherries

6. Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, both of which have been shown to regulate serotonin and improve sleep quality.

Here's the recommended weekly intake of fish to obtain sufficient omega-3s:

Optimal daily dosage of omega-3s (combined EPA and DHA) for healthy adults:

  • 250–500 mg per day.
  • This can be obtained from consuming about 8 ounces of fatty fish per week.

Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in recovery and muscle repair overnight, making fish a smart choice for a pre-bedtime meal.

STAAR LABS offers OMEGA-3 fatty acid supplements derived from fish oil that support brain and ocular health, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of heart disease. They are suitable for intermittent fasting.

7. Whole Grain Crackers

Choosing whole-grain crackers as a snack before bedtime can provide your body with complex carbohydrates.

These carbohydrates help to gradually increase insulin levels, which in turn helps transport tryptophan to the brain. Once in the brain, tryptophan is converted into serotonin and melatonin, which can help you sleep better.

Additionally, when you pair these crackers with a source of protein, it can help you feel fuller and also aid in muscle repair.

8. Kiwi

According to a study by the America National Library of Medicine, kiwis are an excellent food to eat before going to bed for various reasons. Not only are they a refreshing treat from nature, but studies suggest that kiwifruit can improve sleep onset, duration, and efficiency in adults with self-reported sleep disturbances.

Additionally, kiwis are low in calories and rich in nutrients such as fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins C, E, and K.

To make a balanced nighttime snack that is high in protein, you can pair kiwi with mixed nuts or seeds, nut butter, or Greek yogurt.

9. Bananas

Bananas are a fruit that is an excellent source of potassium and magnesium, which are minerals that help to relax muscles naturally. Potassium is essential for the proper functioning of our muscles and nervous system, and it also helps to regulate our blood pressure.

Additionally, bananas provide energy to our bodies. Carbohydrates in bananas are converted into glucose, which is used by our body as fuel. They also help to increase serotonin levels (a neurotransmitter that regulates our mood, appetite, and sleeping) in our brain, which can promote better sleep.

Besides, bananas are high in fiber, which slows down sugar absorption into the bloodstream.

10. Peanut Butter

The high-fat and calorie-dense nature of peanut butter, almond butter, and similar kinds of spreads may discourage you from consuming them before bed.

However, peanut butter is a plant-based source of tryptophan, which is incredibly beneficial for those who avoid or limit animal products in their dietary habits.

To make sure that your blood sugar levels remain stable, it is best to pair peanut butter with fruits such as apples and bananas. To keep the calorie and fat content in check, it is recommended to stick to a tablespoon of peanut butter.

11. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great food to help you sleep. It is high in fiber which can assist in emptying the tryptophan tank. Oats are also a good source of magnesium, which has been shown to improve sleep onset, time, and efficiency when taken as a supplement.

However, avoid sweetening your oats with sugar. Consuming a high-carb meal can cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate, leading to poor sleep quality.

Instead, try adding protein powder, nuts, or seeds to your oats to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the night. You can also add a splash of warm milk, some berries, and cinnamon for added nutrients and a touch of natural sweetness.

12. Chamomile Tea

Drinking chamomile tea before bed is a time-honored tradition for a good reason. Its calming effects can reduce stress and improve sleep quality. Chamomile also has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid digestion and support weight loss efforts.

13. Hard-Boiled Eggs

If you're feeling hungry at night, why not satisfy your appetite with an egg wrap? Eggs are not only low in calories but also rich in tryptophan, a compound that promotes better sleep. They are also an excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamin D, choline, selenium, phosphorus, vitamins B6 and B12, and antioxidants. To make an egg wrap, simply cook an egg to your preferred level of doneness and wrap it in a low-carb, whole-grain tortilla shell. For an added nutritional boost, you can also throw in some non-starchy veggies like spinach and peppers.

14. String Cheese

String cheese is a great snack option to have before you go to bed if you are trying to lose weight. Since it is a dairy product, string cheese is a good source of protein and calcium, which are important nutrients for building and maintaining strong bones and muscles. Additionally, string cheese is rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps promote better sleep. However, to get the most benefit from the tryptophan in string cheese, you should pair it with whole-grain crackers, which are a good source of fiber. This will help regulate your blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full longer.

Is It Good To Sleep On An Empty Stomach?

 

Although you should avoid eating a heavy meal right before bedtime, going to bed hungry is probably also not a good idea.

While avoiding eating too much before bed is recommended. If you wake up during the night due to hunger pains, it can disrupt your sleep and cause weight gain. It might also lead to you waking up famished and searching for food, which could result in unhealthy, calorie-dense food choices.

A light, nutritious snack can help you feel fuller and improve sleep quality.

Why Does Eating Before Bed Lead to Weight Gain?

Weight gain results from an imbalance between the calories you consume and the calories you burn. If you take in more calories than you expend, you end up with a net positive calorie balance, leading to weight gain. However, there's more to the story, including the impact of eating before bedtime.

According to Erin Thole-Summers, a registered dietitian and sports nutrition consultant in West Des Moines, during sleep, your metabolism slows down, resulting in a slower digestion process at night and the metabolism can drop by 10 to 15% during the night and even reach a decrease of 35% during the deepest sleep cycles.top-14-weight-loss-foods-to-eat-before-bed

Let’s break it down.

1. Metabolism and Nighttime Eating:

When you eat just before going to bed, your metabolism slows down during sleep. Imagine having the same meal in the morning and evening:

  • In the morning, your body expends more energy digesting the meal.
  • In the evening, this process is less efficient, resulting in a higher net calorie gain from nighttime meals.

2. Morning vs. Evening Meals:

  • Studies show that meals eaten earlier in the day tend to leave you feeling fuller. Consequently, your overall calorie intake for the entire 24-hour period is likely lower if you eat during daylight hours.
  • Eating at night may contribute to weight gain due to less efficient digestion and potential overeating.

3. The Ghrelin Factor:

Besides, Ghrelin, the "hunger" hormone, plays a role. When stressed, your ghrelin levels usually rise more at night, making overeating more likely. So, late-night snacking can lead to extra calories being stored as weight.

Wrapping up!

It’s not whether you eat before bed that leads to weight gain or loss, but rather what you eat. If you don’t want to put on weight, avoid large meals at bedtime and try to make sure that you get a decent night’s sleep. Having a planned, small (approximately 150 kcal), protein-rich snack before bedtime is unlikely to cause you to put on weight and may even lead to weight loss.

Incorporating these weight-loss-friendly foods with certain supplements, such as magnesium or a small dose of melatonin, can further enhance sleep quality and support your weight management goals.

However, it's essential to choose supplements carefully and ensure they do not interfere with any medications or health conditions.

STAAR LABS offers a range of high-quality supplements for weight loss and also provides essential vitamins and minerals. Visit our website now!

  • WebMD. (n.d.). Surprising things that can cause weight gain. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-weight-gain-shockers
  • HealthMatch. (n.d.). What to eat before bed to lose weight. Retrieved from https://healthmatch.io/weight-management/what-to-eat-before-bed-to-lose-weight#reasons-you-may-gain-weight-if-you-eat-before-bed
  • Link, R. (n.d.). Should you eat before bed? Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eating-before-bed#4
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