What and when you eat at the end of the day can have a large impact on your body. If you eat the right thing at the right time, you can lose fat while you sleep. Eat the wrong thing at the wrong time, and you can plan on waking up with a little more body fat in the morning.
When you’re trying to lose weight, going to bed at night feeling slightly hungry is a good thing.
It’s your body telling you that what you did that day is working and you’re losing body fat. If you don’t feel this way when going to bed, you’re probably not losing fat.
Now let’s say you follow your brain’s directive and eat close to bedtime, your body will not dip into the fat it has stored away, and will probably even save some more.
Every time you eat, your metabolism increases slightly. However, this effect is minimized late at night. You don’t get the same metabolism boosting benefit when you eat just before bed, since a couple of hours after dinner, your body will start preparing for sleep.
The Damage Caused by Late-Night Eating
This natural slowing down of your metabolic rate overrides any metabolic boost you might get from eating. So once you hit the pillow, the only calories you’re going to use are the essential calories you need to keep your heart beating and your lungs breathing and allow your eyes to move in REM sleep. This is only a minimal number of calories.
Believe it or not, eating late at night can also inhibit your calorie burning potential the next day. Say, for instance, that you treat yourself to some pasta and fruit at 10 PM one night and go to bed by 11 PM.
When your alarm goes off the next morning at seven, the last thing on your mind is going to be breakfast, because you’re still full from the pasta and fruit you ate the night before.
Chances are you’re going to skip breakfast and lose all the great metabolism boosting benefits you’d get from eating a balanced morning meal. Also, some different studies have suggested that individuals who skip breakfast are more likely to overeat and make terrible food choices, during lunch and dinner.
Important Tips for Ensuring Maximum Growth Hormone Release While Sleeping
Overeating food, especially starchy carbohydrates, late at night increases your body fat stores.
This is a problem, because not only will reducing night time Human Growth Hormone production make you fat, but it will also speed up the aging process.
About 80% of this fat-burning and anti-aging “super hormone” is released during sleep.
Here are a few simple tips to make sure you get the most from your last meal of the day:
Eat about 3 hours before going to bed. You’ll have some time to burn off calories, but you probably won’t get too hungry before going to sleep.
Eat frequently throughout the day — small, healthy meals and snacks spaced about 3 hours apart to minimize hunger cravings at night.
Your last meal should consist mainly of lean protein like chicken breast, low-fat cottage cheese, fish, turkey, and low glycemic carbohydrates like vegetables and fruits.
You should avoid all starchy carbs close to bedtime like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and cereals. The only time you should be consuming these starchy carbs close to bed is if you workout late at night because then they will be stored in your muscles for energy instead of being stored as fat.
If you get major carb cravings right before bed, then eat some carbs. Just make sure they’re the high fiber, low-glycemic types like apples, berries, peaches, plums, citrus fruit, fresh vegetables or vegetable juice (however, check and make sure that your vegetable juice is low in sodium — the maximum recommended daily intake of sodium is 2,300mg).
If you’re currently strength training to build lean muscle, a great late night meal option is low-fat cottage cheese or skim milk, because it is full of slowly digested casein protein.
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