You may have heard that eating before bed is a big “no no” for those looking to lose weight. In fact, you’ve probably even heard that eating late at night will undoubtedly cause you to GAIN weight…even worse!
Well, there’s good news, and that good news is that not every food that you eat past 7PM will be automatically deposited as fat to your legs, bum, hips and stomach.
In fact, there are certain foods that you can eat as a late night snack that can actually INCREASE your fat loss results!
The key is knowing which foods to eat, and which to avoid as the evening progresses.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: Avoid carbs before bed in favour of slow-digesting, high-quality protein.
Carbohydrate consumption causes significant rise in the storage hormone insulin, which also puts the breaks on fat-burning. That’s a recipe for disaster in the late evening hours as your metabolism is winding down, but fortunately, slow-digesting protein isn’t.
Instead, slow digesting proteins provide your body with a steady flow of amino acids throughout the night to help you recover from exercise and maintain your calorie-burning lean muscle as you lose fat.
Here are some of my top pre-bedtime recommendations:
1. White Meat Protein (not red meat) – White meat animal protein sources such as chicken and turkey are great pre-bed meal choices because they digest slowly and have a very low insulin release. These sources also promote the release of another hormone, glucagon, that assists the body with breaking down stored carbs and fat within your body to be burned for energy…a double win! Red meat has a significantly higher insulin response so it’s best to avoid in the evening.
2. Cottage Cheese – Cottage cheese is very slow digesting and coats the stomach to be assimilated by the body over many hours. As a protein, it also stimulates glucagon release; a solid pre-bedtime choice. Just make sure you’re using plain cottage cheese, not the flavoured varieties with added sugars.
3. Green Vegetables – While these aren’t considered a protein, they contain virtually no calories, are high in fibre, and they’re very filling…a diet saviour!
4. A Slow-digesting, Low-carb Protein Shake – I use a slow-digesting protein shake before bed literally every day. It’s become somewhat of a routine and is a great, way to end the day.
Avoid taking a simple whey protein powder before bed…research has shown that it causes more of an insulin release than white bread! Instead, you need a time-released blend that includes a blend of slow-digesting, high-quality proteins. I would recommend casein protein.