Maintaining a healthy weight is not just about counting calories. When you eat can also play a key role in causing you to gain weight. A late night meal can contribute to weight gain because you aren’t likely to burn that many calories while you sleep. Try to avoid eating any food for at least two hours before bedtime. Try to avoid late night foods and you may wake with more energy and feel more rested.
Studies have also found that sleep deprivation can also lead to weight gain, so eating foods that keep you awake not only result in added calories but can also result in weight gain. Studies have shown that individuals who are sleep deprived have increased appetites, which can result in eating more, sleeping less and gaining weight. Studies have also found that it tends to compromise weight loss efforts by causing your body to burn more muscle instead of fat.
Foods to Avoid
Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you tossing and turning in your bed for hours. It has also been found to alter the normal stages of sleep and compromise deep sleep. Lack of quality sleep at night can hinder cognitive functions and contribute to daytime tiredness.
Even decaffeinated coffee is not completely caffeine-free. Try an evening tea, especially a soothing tea such as chamomile tea, it will help you relax and avoid the caffeine.
Just like coffee many sodas are loaded with caffeine. In addition regular soda contains sugar that will spike your energy level and disrupt your sleep. The carbonation in soda may cause bloat or gas machining it uncomfortable to fall asleep.
For most individuals, alcohol leads to a more rapid induction of sleep. It also increases non-REM sleep and reduces REM sleep during the first portion of the night. However, alcohol is metabolized rapidly and blood concentrations are negligible by the middle of the night for most individuals who have a few drinks prior to bedtime, often resulting in withdrawal symptoms thereafter. These may include shallow sleep and multiple awakenings, REM rebound associated with nightmares or vivid dreams, sweating, and general activation. Therefore, although alcohol may be effective in sleep induction, it impairs sleep during the second half of the night and can lead to a reduction in overall sleep time.
Although beans are healthy, they should also be avoided at night. Being high in soluble fiber, beans can cause gas and stomach issues late at night.
In fact, increased abdominal gas is a common side effect of most high-fiber diets. Both soluble as well as insoluble fiber cause gas, but soluble fiber has a higher gas-producing potential because it slows the passage of food through the intestine where the gut bacteria break down carbohydrates and cause fermentation and gas.
Super Cheesy Foods
Greasy toppings on your pizza or a juicy cheesy burger are delicious but can leave you lying awake, feeling too full. Cheese is good for your health and even promotes sleep because as it contains the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan.
However, eating high-fat cheeses, especially at night, can make digestion terribly uncomfortable. Plus, they are loaded with calories.
You can have non-fat cottage cheese and low-fat mozzarella or ricotta cheese, but remember moderation is the key.
Fried and Fatty Foods
Fried foods including chips, fries, and other high calorie junk food should be avoided at nighttime. They are rich in fat that takes a longer time to digest and slows down the overall digestive process. They leave excess acid in the stomach and cause problems with the digestive tract. If you suffer from acid reflux you should definitely avoid fried foods
Also, avoid spicy foods that may cause physical discomfort like heartburn. Plus, they tend to give you a rush of endorphins that can make it harder to sleep.
Chocolates and Candy Bars
Candy, pastries, and sugary treats should be avoided at nighttime. In addition to causing sugar energy spikes they contribute to weight gain by causing a spike in blood glucose levels, causing your body to store excess glucose as fat. Chocolate contains caffeine and most chocolate is loaded with sugar and fat.
If you need to snack at night try to limit your snacks to a small amount of seeds or nuts, whole grain snacks such as popcorn and small amounts of fruit or fresh vegetables. Try not to eat for at least two hours before bedtime and try to keep the serving size to less than 200 calories.
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