The 5 best foods to eat before bed (for a flat belly)
You may have heard some trainers or gurus telling you that eating before bed is a big-time “no no” if you’re looking to lose weight. In fact, you’ve probably even heard that eating late at night will undoubtedly cause you to GAIN weight…even worse!
Well, there’s good news… not every food that you eat past 7PM will be automatically deposited to your belly fat, thighs, and love handles.
In fact, there are certain foods that you can eat as a late-night snack that can actually INCREASE your fat loss results through hormonal improvements! The key is knowing which foods to eat, and which to avoid, as the evening progresses.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: Avoid carbs before bed in favor of slow-digesting high-quality protein and healthy fats. Fiber is ok too as long as it’s low in starch or sugars.
Carbohydrate consumption causes significant rise in the storage hormone insulin, which also puts the breaks on fat-burning. That’s a recipe for disaster in the late evening hours as your metabolism is winding down, but fortunately, slow-digesting protein isn’t.
Instead, slow digesting proteins provide your body with a steady flow of amino acids throughout the night to help you recover from exercise and maintain your calorie-burning lean muscle as you lose fat.
Here are some of my top pre-bedtime food choices:
1. White Meat Protein – White meat animal protein sources such as chicken and turkey are great pre-bed meal choices because they digest slowly and have a very low insulin release. These sources also promote the release of another hormone, glucagon, that assists the body with breaking down stored carbs and fat within your body to be burned for energy…a double win!
Having some cooked ground turkey or chicken handy in tupperware in your fridge makes for a quick late night snack whenever you need it… my favorite way is to warm it up and add to a quick lettuce wrap with a little avocado and hot sauce whenever I need a night time snack. A delicious way to aid your metabolism and fat loss efforts!
2. Cottage Cheese – Cottage cheese is very slow digesting and coats the stomach to be assimilated by the body over many hours. As a protein, it also stimulates glucagon release, which as I just mentioned is great for fat loss, making this a good pre-bedtime choice. Just make sure you’re using plain cottage cheese, not the flavored varieties with added sugars. Add some stevia and cinnamon if you need to flavor it up a little!
3. Green Vegetables – While these aren’t considered a protein, they contain virtually no calories (insignificant), are high in fiber, and they’re very filling. Often times when I get a late night craving I eat a big bowl of green veggies and it completely kills my craving…a diet savior to prevent you from giving in to junk foods late night!
4. Almonds, pecans, walnuts, or pistachios – These nuts are not only great sources of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, but provide the fiber and healthy fats necessary to control your cravings late at night and make sure you don’t give in to junk.
5. A Slow-digesting, Low-carb Protein Shake – I use a slow-digesting protein shake before bed a lot of times. It’s a great dessert alternative that’s much lower in sugar and better for your body. The vast majority of my clients have grown to love the habit as well…who doesn’t love dessert before bed? I normally blend the shake with almond butter to get some healthy fats in there, and oh man, it tastes good with the right protein powder.
WARNING: Avoid taking a simple whey protein powder before bed…research has shown that it causes more of an insulin release than white bread! Instead, try this time-released blend that includes a blend of slow-digesting, high-quality proteins.
Want more nutrition tips for a flatter belly?
My good friend and nutritionist Joel Marion shares some more tips with you at the page below (some of these will REALLY surprise you!)