Are there any foods that you can eat at night, and not gain weight? It is important to maintain a healthy diet if you want to lose weight. This means that you have to avoid junk food and fast food. However, you still need to eat something before you go to bed. In fact, this is when your body recovers most effectively with the right nutrients. So, what food should you eat at night time?
Foods That Burn Fat While you Sleep
In this post, we are going to tell you about some amazing foods that actually help you burn fat while you sleep. While it may seem kind of gimmicky to push through the idea of burning fat during sleep, you would be surprised to know that the body is always in a calorie-burning mode, even when you are fast asleep. Calories are converted into energy form to maintain all basic activities – from breathing to maintain the core temperature of the body, calories are needed for every function, even to pump blood efficiently to all the organs. Also, all cellular repair and regenerative activities in the body are undertaken while you sleep and needless to say, these also require some amount of energy in the form of calories. On a serious note, if you sleep for 8+ hours each night, you burn more fat whereas sleeping for less number of hours, the body would start reaching out for muscle instead of fat. Also, sleep deprivation can send fat-burning enzymes and essential hormones into a tizzy, increasing hunger hormone “ghrelin,” stress hormone “cortisol,” and lowering satiety hormone “leptin.” It is extremely important to eat the right food before bedtime, so that we can boost our metabolism and aid the weight loss process. Our choice of food for dinner should be stuff that would speed up metabolism, keep the gut happy, help you have better quality sleep, and be thermogenic in nature. Also, it would be a good idea to have foods with tryptophan (an amino acid that increases serotonin levels in the body, which helps to produce melatonin, and melatonin helps us to sleep better and wake up full of energy. Check out Rati Beauty weight loss diets on the Rati Beauty app to find out how you can lose weight by eating the right kind of food. In this post, we list out Foods That Burn Fat While you Sleep.
1. Lemon: Although one might think lemons to be acidic because of their sharp and sour taste, this citrus fruit actually has an incredible alkalizing effect on the body. This is great for the health of our liver, which in turns aids digestion, boosts metabolism and burns fat while we sleep.
2. Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of very healthy fat (Omega 9), but much to everyone’s surprise, it actually helps burn the fat in our bodies. Eat avocado as part of your dinner, so that it can help boost your metabolism and convert the fat in your body into energy.
3. Coconut: Eating coconut or even consuming limited quantities of coconut oil can provide you with the right dose of healthy fats that maintain the liver function and help burn fat. Coconut also helps you feel and stay full, thereby preventing you from overeating
4. Green tea: Green tea is a great source of metabolism boosting antioxidants. Not only is it a great thing to have to improve your overall health and immunity, it is especially useful for burning abdominal fat. Drink a cup of green tea after your meals to aid digestion and burn fat.
5. Leafy greens: Low in calories and low in carbohydrates, leafy greens are packed with excellent nutrients and lots of fibre. This keeps you feeling full for longer, while nourishing your body and burning fat.
6. Grapefruit: Grapefruit is known to be an excellent food that promotes weight loss just by itself. Make sure to include it in your diet, especially if you are trying to lose weight. If you don’t like the taste, you can choose to add it to a smoothie.
Healthy and Nutritious Late-Night Snacks
Satisfy the midnight munchies with these nutritious nibbles
It’s late at night and you’re hungry. Maybe you’ve had a busy evening and just got home. Or perhaps you can’t sleep because your stomach won’t stop growling.
Whatever the reason, you’re in the kitchen and need something healthy to eat—pronto. Search no more: These good-for-you late-night snack options are both satisfying and—bonus—loaded with nutrients that may even help promote sleep.
Ideas for Healthy Late-Night Snacks
Cereal and Milk
You may reserve cereal for your morning meal. But it also can make a smart midnight snack that may help you sleep.
One study found that eating high-glycemic carbs—which many corn-based cereals are—before bed reduced the time it took for people to fall asleep.
Keep portions small (your entire snack should be under 300 calories), especially if you have problems with heartburn—heavy meals can exacerbate the problem. One cup of cornflakes has 100 calories, and a half-cup of skim milk has 45 calories.
Dairy products contain calcium, a mineral that plays a direct role in the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Plus, it also acts as a natural relaxant in the body.
A Bowl of Berries
When your sweet tooth needs satisfying, you can’t beat a bowl of berries. Besides being loaded with fiber, which helps fill you up, berries contain magnesium, a mineral that relaxes nerves and muscles to speed slumber.
Serve your berries plain, or add some chopped nuts or granola, or a splash of milk.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Nighttime is the right time for this childhood favorite. Here’s why: Certain foods, like peanut butter, contain an amino acid called tryptophan that gets converted in the brain to melatonin to promote sleepiness.
But carbohydrates like bread and jelly are needed to make tryptophan more available to the brain. Hence the reason why a PB&J is the perfect pairing for a pre-sleep snack, one that’s also yummy and—if you opt for whole grain bread and natural PB free of added sugar (many brands are loaded with sweetener)—nutritious, too.
Cheese and Crackers
When you’re hungry for something savory at night, just say cheese and crackers. Keep an eye on your serving sizes if you’re watching your weight, because cheese can get high in calories and fat if you eat big chunks of it.
And opt for whole grain crackers, which contain filling fiber. If you need a little more volume to stay sated until morning, add some fresh grapes, apple slices, or fresh veggies.
Yogurt and Fruit
Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, which has been linked to better sleep. Just be sure to read labels before you purchase it, because some varieties are high in added sugar—empty calories that you don’t need. Opt for plain yogurt and add flavor with berries, chopped nuts, and antioxidant-rich honey.
When only a sandwich will do, start with lean protein like turkey and whole grain bread2 and add a slice of tomato, some lettuce, and a little mayo or mustard. The combination of protein and complex (that is, filling) carbs will send hunger pangs packing.
Just give yourself time to digest one half of the sandwich before starting in on the second: Sometimes being too full can keep you awake too.
Why people eat at night and possible health consequences
There are various reasons why people may snack at night. If someone does this occasionally, it may not be an issue. However, if late night snacking becomes a habit, it could indicate an underlying disorder or result in potential health consequences.
People may eat later at night due to boredom or emotional eating. Some researchTrusted Source indicates a link between emotional eating, depression, and obesity.
According to a 2018 reviewTrusted Source, night-eating syndrome (NES) is a form of disordered eating where someone eats 25% or more of their daily calories at night.
People with NES consume excessive food after dinnertime or when they wake from sleep. They may also eat less food in the mornings, frequently have depressed moods, and have difficulty sleeping.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical NutritionTrusted Source found that people consuming food during the evening and night had a higher body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI).
The authors suggest a potential reason for this is the decreased thermic effect of food after the onset of melatonin, which refers to a lower metabolic rate and use of energy later at night.
For people who experience acid reflux or have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), eating late at night could exacerbate symptoms. Experts advise that someone with GERD should avoid eating for 3 hoursTrusted Source before bedtime.
Breakfast implies “breaking a fast.” According to research,Trusted Source fasting overnight may have health benefits and reduce the risk of obesity. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid regular late night snacking if possible.
The best evening snacks
People should aim to eat a balanced diet throughout the day, so they are not hungry after dinner.
Eating a diet containing too manyTrusted Source refined carbohydrates or added sugars could cause an imbalance in someone’s blood sugar. EvidenceTrusted Source suggests that high glycemic index (GI) foods trigger blood glucose dysregulation.
Blood glucose dysregulation may negatively affect someone’s mood and cause them to crave more food. Eating high GI foods or too many calories before bed could also cause a person to gain weight.
Some foods contain compounds, such as tryptophan and melatonin, that can help someone sleep.
The following are healthy foods that someone could snack on if they are hungry in the evening. However, it is important to note that late night snacking may lead to weight gain.
People may wish to consider consulting with a health practitioner if they find they frequently crave a substantial amount of food at night.
In a small 2019 pilot studyTrusted Source, Montmorency tart cherry juice increased sleep time and efficiency in people aged over 50 years with insomnia. According to the research, the procyanidins, melatonin, and tryptophan in tart cherries may be responsible for their sleep-promoting effect.
Grocery stores sell tart or sour cherries, which are often in frozen form. A person could try eating them with natural yogurt, which also contains tryptophan, to help with sleep. People can also buy Montmorency tart cherry juice from retailers.
Turkey is a good source of the amino acid tryptophan, with light turkey meat containing higher amounts of the substance than darker turkey meat.
StudiesTrusted Source show that tryptophan has direct effects on sleep. It converts to serotonin and then melatonin, which works in the pineal gland to induce sleep.
According to a 2016 studyTrusted Source, eating carbohydrates can help people absorb tryptophan into the brain. Therefore, using whole grain bread to make a turkey sandwich may help someone to sleep.
Oats are a natural sourceTrusted Source of melatonin. Other cereals, such as wheat and barley, are also relatively good sources of this substance.
Oats are also a healthy whole food containing vitamins, minerals, and fiber. However, if a person wishes to maintain a moderate weight, they should have a smaller portion of oats and avoid eating them regularly before bed, as this could lead to weight gain. A 40 gram (g) portion of oats contains roughly 140 caloriesTrusted Source.
People can also try sprinkling cinnamon on their oatmeal. According to researchTrusted Source, cinnamon helps balance blood glucose, which may help manage cravings, weight, and mood. The spice is also anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
However, people with liver conditions or taking medications, such as warfarin, wish to speak with their doctor before consuming cinnamon.
BananasTrusted Source increase melatonin production, which can help someone sleep. A medium banana contains around 105Trusted Source calories and is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, they are a quick and easy food that someone can eat to satisfy a hunger pang before bed.
Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium. In addition to being vital for bone health, researchTrusted Source suggests that calcium may also support better sleep. This food is also another good source of tryptophan.
Yogurt is rich in protein, which can help a person feel fuller. In particular, consuming casein proteinTrusted Source at night may help reduce hunger the next morning.
If choosing this food as a snack, it is advisable to opt for plain varieties. A person can flavor it with unsweetened fruits such as berries.