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Saturday, 24 December 2016 14:31

Good and Bad about Eating Before Bed

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People think it’s a bad idea to eat before bed. This often comes from the belief that eating before you go to sleep leads to weight gain.

However, some claim that a bedtime snack can actually support a weight loss diet.

So what should you believe?

The truth is, the answer isn’t the same for everyone. It depends a lot on the individual.

Conventional wisdom says that eating before bed causes weight gain because your metabolism slows down when you fall asleep. This causes any undigested calories to be stored as fat.

Yet many health experts say that eating before bed is perfectly fine and may even improve sleep or weight loss.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that many people are confused.

Part of the problem is that the evidence on the matter actually appears to support both sides.

The good and Bad

Eating Before Bed May Lead to Unhealthy Habits
It turns out that people who eat before bed are more likely to gain weight simply because a bedtime snack is an extra meal and, therefore, extra calories.

Not only that, but evening is the time of day when many people tend to feel the hungriest. This makes it even more likely that a bedtime snack will end up pushing your calorie intake over your daily calorie needs. Add the fact that most people like to snack at night while watching TV or working on their laptops, and it’s no surprise that these habits might lead to weight gain.

For most people, the problem with eating at night is not that your metabolism switches to storing calories as fat at night. Instead, weight gain is caused by the unhealthy habits that often accompany bedtime snacking.

Eating Before Bed Is Bad If You Have Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common condition that affects as much as 20–48% of Western populations. It happens when stomach acid splashes back into your throat.

Symptoms include heartburn, difficulty swallowing, a lump in the throat or worsening nighttime asthma.

If you have any of these symptoms, you may want to avoid snacking before bed.

Eating before bed can make symptoms worse because having a full stomach when you lie down makes it much easier for stomach acid to splash back up into your throat.

Therefore, if you have reflux, it’s a good idea to avoid eating anything for at least 3 hours before lying down in bed.

Additionally, you might want to avoid drinking or eating anything containing caffeine, alcohol, tea, chocolate or hot spices. All of these foods can aggravate symptoms.

It May Help Weight Loss

Some evidence suggests that, rather than causing weight gain, eating a bedtime snack may actually help some people lose weight.

If you’re a person who tends to eat a big portion of your calories during the night (usually after going to bed), having a snack after dinner can help control your desire for nighttime snacking.

In one 4-week study of adults who were night-snackers, participants who began eating one bowl of cereal and milk 90 minutes after dinner ate an average of 397 fewer calories per day.

In the end, they lost an average of 1.85 pounds (0.84 kilograms) from this change alone.

This study suggests that adding a small after-dinner snack may help night-snackers feel satisfied enough to eat less than they would otherwise. Over time, it may also have the possible benefit of weight loss.

Read also Belly Fat: Simple Steps to Lose Belly Fat

It May Help You Sleep Better
Not much research has been done on this topic, but many people report that eating something before bed helps them sleep better or prevents them from waking up hungry during the night.

This makes sense, as a snack before bed may help you feel full and satisfied during the night.

Getting enough sleep is extremely important, and sleep deprivation itself has been linked to overeating and weight gain.

There is no evidence that a small, healthy snack before bed leads to weight gain.

It May Stabilize Morning Blood Sugar
In the morning, your liver starts to produce extra glucose (blood sugar) to provide you with the energy you need to get up and start the day.

This process causes scarcely any change in blood sugar for people without diabetes. However, some people with diabetes can’t produce enough insulin to remove the extra glucose from the blood.

For this reason, diabetics commonly wake up in the morning with high blood sugar, even if they haven’t eaten anything since the night before. This is called the Dawn Phenomenon.

Other people may experience nocturnal hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar during the night, which can disturb sleep.

If you experience high or low blood sugar in the morning, talk with your doctor or dietitian to see if a bedtime snack is a good idea for you.

What Should You Eat Before Bed?

* Avoid Desserts and Junk Foods
* Combine Carbs With Protein or Fat

Should You Eat Before Bed?

The answer to whether or not it’s a bad idea to eat before bed really depends on you and your habits.

It’s not a good idea to make a habit of snacking on unhealthy foods before bed. It’s also unwise to eat a large portion of your calories during the night.

However, it’s perfectly fine for most people to have a healthy snack before bed.

Please if you find this Article helpful then drop your comment and questions.

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