When you work late and get home at a silly hour, you want to have a decent meal without feeling guilty. With all the claims you shouldn't eat too soon before you go to bed it's hard not to worry about weight gain in these circumstances, but there are ways you can curb your hunger late at night without the negative results.
“Food restriction in humans is much less controlled, and relies more on keeping a healthy environment and willpower - something many people struggle with,” Heather Mangieri, R.D., a board-certified specialist in sports nutrition and spokesperson for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told popsugar.com. “The evening hours are when most people will admit to out-of-control eating, since that’s the time when the work is done and it’s time to relax.”
Heather insists it doesn't matter what time you're eating, it's more about what you tuck into.
Firstly, she suggests getting rid of carb-heavy foods from your late night meal, as these can make you feel heavier and uncomfortable when climbing into bed.
“If dinner is at 8pm and bedtime is two hours later, the meal size should be smaller and include a smaller amount of carbohydrates,” she explained. “Stick to a serving of lean protein and load up on veggies so you’ll still meet your nutrient needs without all the late-night calories.”
Perhaps tuck into a chicken salad with roasted peppers, or even a bowl of hearty soup could do the trick – basically anything that is quick and easy to throw together but won't weigh you down.
As tempting as it is to just snack when you're tired and don't want to cook, you shouldn't skip a meal all together. And, if you have been exercising a lot recently, a late-night meal could actually help you burn more calories, as your metabolism is working ultra-fast.
“Going to bed with a growling stomach can make it difficult to fall asleep, or worse, increase the temptation to eat in the middle of the night if hunger disrupts sleep,” Heather added.
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