6 Snacks To Eat Before Bed That Won’t Wreck Your Waistline
Ever force yourself to go to bed hungry just because you think it will ruin your hard-earned efforts at losing weight or maintaining that already fit body? Find out why this isn’t a good idea as well as six foods you can eat before bedtime to ensure a better night’s sleep and good health too.
If you’ve been fighting the urge to eat something just before bed, even though you’re truly hungry, did you know that you’re not doing your body any favors? That’s because when you go to bed hungry, you’ll wake up with less energy, and you probably won’t feel so hot either. Don’t believe the myth that anything consumed in the few hours just before bedtime goes right to your hips or your belly.
Provided you choose the right snack rather than taking in a ton of calories or indulging in junk foods, your muscles will get the fuel they need, your hunger levels will be low so your appetite won’t wake you, and your blood glucose levels will be more stable so that your brain doesn’t wake up your body.
Cottage Cheese With 100% Peanut Butter
Over the years, cottage cheese with peanut butter has been considered a classic snack to enjoy at night by those who are concerned about their health and their waistline – just be sure to choose 100% peanut butter, meaning the only ingredients in it are peanuts and salt. Be wary of the term “natural” peanut butter as there are no specific regulations around that term – any food can carry that label provided it doesn’t contain any artificial substances, so often times “natural” peanut butters actually contain unwanted ingredients like partially hydrogenated oils and/or sweeteners.
The peanut butter not only adds a tasty flavor (use no more than a tablespoon to avoid taking in a ton of calories), but it increases digestion time which enhances this snacks ability to control your appetite. The cottage cheese itself is good as it contains a high amount of casein protein that releases slowly over time to ensure a sturdy supply of amino acids all night long.
As salmon is loaded with protein along with the healthy omega-3 fatty acids that many people are lacking, it makes an ideal pre-bedtime dish. Omega-3s can help keep your blood cholesterol levels where they should be, stave off depression and offer protection from Alzheimer’s. By adding sliced salmon to a green salad, it makes for the ultimate low-carb, fiber-packed food to enjoy just before bed.
Plain Greek-Style Yogurt With Flaxseeds
Similar to cottage cheese, plain Greek-style yogurt contains lots of protein as well as a significant dose of calcium. By adding flaxseeds, you’ll not only get a nice crunch, but healthy fats to keep you satisfied longer while helping to keep your cholesterol levels where they should be. Combined, you’ll get just the right amount of protein, omega fats and fiber your body is craving.
Low-fat Cheese and Raw Veggies
Many of us crave the creamy delicious flavor of cheese, but as regular cheese is high in saturated fat, by opting for low-fat cheese you can enjoy the taste along with a healthy amount of protein without all that excess fat and calories.
By combining cheese with raw green veggies like celery, broccoli or cucumber, you’ll have the perfect fat/protein/carb snack recipe.
Tuna with Olive Oil on a Bed of Spinach
When you realize you’re hungry late at night and want to put together something quickly, this is a great snack to turn to. All you need is a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, a can of tuna packed in water and a cup or so of baby spinach. The olive oil adds healthy fats while the tuna is high in protein and the spinach is not only loaded with iron, but it offers good carbs, fiber and a host of other vitamins and minerals.
Casein Protein Shake
If a creamy shake is what you’re in the mood for, but you want to enjoy the benefits of casein protein that we mentioned in the cottage cheese/peanut butter snack, try a protein shake instead. You’ll find a myriad of options out there – look for one that contains no artificial ingredients like flavorings or dyes. As most of these shakes tend to be low in fat, add your own healthy fats by mixing in a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil – it provides medium-chain triglycerides that support heart health and brain functioning, reduce inflammation and much more.
A casein protein shake will also help repair your muscles as you sleep.
Never Go to Bed Hungry Again
Hunger pangs have been found to keep the brain more alert, which can interrupt your sleep – and a lack of sleep can significantly lower your metabolism while increasing levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is known to increase appetite and even encourage weight gain.
Now that you know what to eat before bed, there’s no excuse for forcing yourself to go to bed hungry again.
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