Should I avoid certain foods at night?
Asked by on Nov 26, 2008
in Weight Loss
I tend to eat dinner late and may have a snack an hour or so before bed. Some experts suggest that eating at night can slow weight loss or lead to weight gain. Others feel that calories are calories, and so long as you eat less that you burn, the time you eat matters very little. From a nutritional and weight loss/maintenance standpoint, is it better to avoid certain foods (e.g. sugars, simple carbs) at night because they can more easily be converted to fat by the body?
For a good night sleep, steer clear of stimulants like caffeine in coffee, tea and soda, and beware of fatty, spicy, and acidic foods that may promote heartburn. Mint, carbonated beverages, citrus, and tomato products are major offenders. A large meal eaten within 3 - 4 hours of bedtime can be energizing, making it difficult to fall asleep, but a light bedtime snack can quench any hunger that keeps us awake. Alcohol also affects the ability to sleep deeply and peacefully. From a weight loss viewpoint, the jury is still out about whether or not eating before bed promotes weight gain. But food is digested and nutrients are utilized all through the night and, for the most part, food is only converted to fat when you eat more than you need.