New Year, new me. This month, like every January for as far back as I can remember, I’ve found myself eating lots of fruit and veg and cutting back on chocolate and carbs, in a desperate attempt to shift the pounds I’ve piled on over Christmas. I didn’t put on as much weight this Christmas as I usually do, but I made up for it by gaining around a stone in weight throughout the rest of last year.
So far, it seems to be going okay. I’m not following a strict diet, but I’m eating healthy, balanced meals and cutting down on sugary snacks, as well as going to the gym three times every week. I’ll give it a few weeks and if the weight doesn’t start falling off, I’m going to go back to Slimming World.
Foods to eat before bed
One thing I am struggling with at this stage, however, is the temptation to snack between dinner and bedtime. Most people restrict themselves from eating before bedtime when they’re trying to shed excess pounds and this is what I’ve been trying to do. In actual fact, trying to sleep with a hungry tummy could negatively impact your weight-loss plan. A growling stomach could lead to a restless night, and you may find yourself waking up without energy and making unhealthy decisions the next day. As long as you’re eating something sensible, it’s perfectly fine to enjoy a bedtime snack from time to time.
Try these healthy foods to eat before bed to keep hunger pangs at bay, without sabotaging your slim-down efforts.
1. Whole grain cereals
Believe it or not, ending your day with a bowl of fibre-rich cereals can actually lower your body weight. Carbs are good for sleep they help to keep you satiated all night long, while breaking down fats. Partnering your cereal with skimmed or low-fat milk makes it an ideal bedtime snack, as you’ll get extra doses of calcium, vitamin D, and tryptophan.
Another delicious way to prevent sleep disruptions is by having two kiwis one hour before going to bed. This delicious fruit is rich in vitamins C and E, carotenoids and antioxidants. It also helps to prevent insomnia, thanks to its serotonin and folate content.
Almonds are rich in fibre that will keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. They are also known as one of the best fat-burning superfoods. Consuming about five grams of almonds every night will also help you to repair muscles and lose weight.
4. Sweet potatoes
Instead of eating unhealthy meals for dinner, have a baked sweet potato. It contains calcium, magnesium, and potassium that can help your body relieve stress. Furthermore, sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins A, C, B1 and B2, copper, dietary fibre, niacin, and phosphorus.
When it comes to inducing sleep, sleep is one of the best foods to eat before bed. You can combine it with almond milk and banana for additional taste and health benefits. This vegetable is packed with vitamins B6 and C, folate and magnesium. It also contains glutamine, which helps the body eliminate cellular toxins.
6. Cottage cheese
Instead of trying to sleep with a rumbling stomach, enjoy a small amount of cottage cheese. This is one of the best foods to eat before bed because it boosts metabolism, controls hunger pangs in the morning and increases resting energy expenditure.
Bananas are excellent sources of magnesium and potassium that can induce muscle relaxation. They contain sleep-regulating hormones, melatonin and serotonin, and have positive effects on sleep quality. Having a banana one hour before you sleep is also believed to make it easier for you to wake up.
Cherries are not only a great way to satisfy your sweet cravings, but they will also help you to achieve a better sleep. Have a glass of cherry juice or a bowl of cherries before going to bed to improve your quality of sleep and benefit from the antioxidant properties.
Depriving yourself of a good night’s sleep contributes to weight gain, and an unhealthy diet can affect your sleep cycle. Even though you shouldn’t go to bed with a rumbling tummy, it is important to make sure that you do not eat large portions as it will be difficult for your body to digest the food during the night.
What are your favourite foods to eat before bed?