Eat this at night and burn fat in your sleep

For those who get the munchies just before bed, this is for you.

Full disclaimer: We all know that eating late at night regularly can lead to weight gain. That’s especially true if you snack on foods that contain refined carbohydrates and starches, such as bread and rice, as well as guilty products such as chips and cookies, which are low in fiber and high in sugar. Sure, they can be a quick fix for your hunger, but if you don’t use the converted energy, those calories can be stored as fat. Talk about bad news for your waistline.

Still, experts say it’s best not to go to bed hungry (and here’s why). So if your tummy starts to rumble after turning off the light, what should you do? Try grabbing a protein-rich snack like cottage cheese.

That was the food used in a Florida State University study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2018, which found that consuming 30 grams of protein about 30 minutes before bedtime can have a positive effect on metabolism. Although it was a small study and involved only active twenty-somethings, it was the first to explore this possibility in whole foods, unlike the protein shakes and other protein supplements examined in previous studies.

Not a fan of cottage cheese?

Don’t worry, there are tons of other great protein choices out there, like any of these nutritionist-approved healthy nighttime snacks. “Try to eat sliced ​​lean proteins such as chicken, roast beef, tofu, boiled eggs, or a handful of almonds 30 minutes before bed to maintain satiety throughout the night,” suggests Bridgette Agee, a registered nurse and the bariatric program manager at the Marina Weight Loss Center at Cedars-Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital in California, which was not involved in the study. “These foods will also provide the energy needed for metabolism, boosting your weight loss efforts.”

Almonds or walnuts are some of the healthiest nuts you can eat and can be particularly good suggestions for those who are lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply don’t care about dairy. Nuts in general are high in good fats, as well as a good source of protein and nutrients like vitamin E, selenium and magnesium, just to name a few. Remember to eat them mindfully — that is, keep that handful to just a handful — because calories can add up quickly.

If dairy isn’t an issue, you can also consider mozzarella string cheese sticks. At less than 100 calories per pop, these small-yet-potent snacks provide six grams of protein with just one gram of carbohydrates, as well as calcium and vitamin D. Plus, you don’t have to worry about overeating, thanks to their prepackaged portions.

While this small adjustment may work some magic, the real key to losing weight is cutting calories. Eliminating unhealthy snacks is an important part of that and proper planning can help with that. “Following your meals of lean protein and vegetables every four to five hours will give you the energy needed to trigger and maintain weight loss,” Agee says. “By planning, you can [also] make sure there are healthier choices available to eliminate mindless snacking.”

Smart snacking isn’t just for the night, of course. Check out these 30 healthy snacks that can curb your cravings while still helping you lose weight.

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