Blissful Belle

Be Happy, Feel Beautiful

Midnight Snacks, The Enemy?

     Anyone who has tried to lose those last 10 pounds absolutely knows that it is a big no-no to eat past the twilight hours. As the “experts” tell us our body slows down at night, which means any food before we go to sleep will be stored as fat!

 Or will it?

     I am a big fan of midnight snacking; you just cant help it when you get hungry after hours. Although we have been lead to believe it is unhealthy its actually a little bit more complex than that. The key is what you eat, not when you eat it. It is important to listen to our bodies and give them the necessary nutrients. Many of us might be starving before bed, because we think its going to affect our diet. If your body starts to starve, it is even worse. All of the nutrition and fitness experts say not to eat after 8 at night, but I’ve done some research and discovered three reasons why late-night eating is no longer a diet sabotage.

 Midnight snacks keep your metabolism from slowing down:

The ideal time to eat dinner is sometime between 5 and 7 p.m. So, lets say you eat dinner at 6 p.m. and wake up at 8 a.m. You have just gone 14 hours without eating! This can lead to muscle loss and a slower metabolism . This makes losing weight even more difficult. If you’re already dieting, you may find yourself with an increase of muscle loss because you are probably already cutting your daily calories in half. Support muscle tissue maintenance by eating a small snack of slow digesting proteins and carbohydrates.

Overcoming Insomnia:

Comfort food” is a very popular midnight snack that can be hazardous to our diets. In fact, I believe this is where the “eating at night is bad” myth first came from. A Cornell University research found that foods high in sugar and fat content are more efficient in alleviating negative feelings such as stress. This may be why we turn to unhealthy snacking before bed. Eating a snack before hitting the sack will increase the secretion of leptin which is a hormone that gives you the feeling of fullness. It will also help release ghrelin, which is the hormone that signals your body to stay awake. Plus, getting a good night’s sleep of seven or eight hours supports weight loss. Two for the price of one—nice!

 Midnight Munchies Can Prevent Overeating The Next Day:

According to an article on the ABC website If you’re eating healthy throughout the day—consuming four mini-meals consisting of 400-500 calories—your body will become accustomed to eating every three to four hours. Waiting 12 hours between dinner and breakfast will leave you feeling ravenous when you wake up. Therefore, you will want to eat everything in sight in the morning, which can lead to overeating way before your day has even started. A snack before bed will keep your eating cycle consistent, promoting a speedy metabolism and regulating your hunger spikes. Below are some Guidelines that may help you make better choices when your tummy starts to grumble after hours.

  1. A snack is small and should not turn into a heavy meal
  2. Keep it to 200 calories or less
  3. The perfect bedtime snack contains complex carbohydrates, lean protein and a bit of heart-healthy fats
  4. Avoid caffeine, spicy and high-fat foods, which can cause heartburn or acid reflux
  5. Snacks should take five minutes to make and require little preparation and cleaning

      Even though some may say that eating before bed can undo any diet routine, a 2006 study in Obesity Research has shown that this is not entirely true. Yes, your body’s activity is less at night (unless your jogging in your sleep) so your metabolism may slow down. It actually doesn’t make a difference when you eat your meals, the amount of calories consumed in one day will still always be the same.

     Be sure to snack in moderation and have food which is rich in both carbohydrates and proteins in order for it to last throughout the night. Avoid any foods with excessive sugar or flour. Think of your midnight snack as a temporary solution until breakfast.

Happy Snacking, Belles!


One comment on “Midnight Snacks, The Enemy?

  1. Gabriela (@GabbaPrincess)
    October 1, 2011

    “You have just gone 14 hours without eating! This can lead to muscle loss and a slower metabolism!”

    I had no Idea! I know now what to say when people say no snacking after 8pm! Great article!

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