We all like to have an after-dinner snack, there’s no denying it. But if you wake up feeling tired, extremely hungry, or bloated, you should probably rethink the bag of chips or slice of cake you indulge in before bed.
If you are an active person and exercise regularly a light snack in the evening won’t do you any harm. On the contrary, it will stabilize your blood sugar levels and you will feel full of energy in the morning. The secret is to eat at least 2 hours before you go to bed, otherwise your stomach will be busy digesting the food while you’re trying to get some rest.
In case you decide you want to skip the evening meal, then your glucose levels will drop. Having a light healthy meal for dinner will not only keep your blood sugar in check, but also help you burn a few calories while you sleep.
Therefore, try to reward yourself after a hard day of work with something other than ice-cream or chocolate. Instead, go for complex carbohydrates such as whole-wheat bread, starch-free vegetables, popcorn or fruit. These foods are digested more slowly and thus they will stave off cravings for midnight snacks.
If you do a lot of physical activity during the day, a good supply of protein from grilled turkey or chicken breast may be the best choice for an evening snack, because it will keep you well fed and help your muscles relax during the night. In addition, the tryptophan (an important amino acid) content in high-protein foods will increase serotonin levels in your brain, improving your mood and helping you sleep better.
Many people make the mistake of banishing fats from their diet completely, in an effort to lose weight and stay healthy. But your body needs certain amounts of “good” fats in order to function properly and give you the energy you need. An avocado, nuts and fish salad with a drizzle of olive oil will actually lower your cholesterol and keep you well fed throughout the night.
You should avoid chips, biscuits and sweets before bed because they don’t contain fibers which support healthy digestion and the high sugar content will induce a temporary spike in energy, which can cause restless sleep. Moreover, they are digested quickly and you will feel hungry again pretty soon.
Choosing the right snacks in the evening will help you sleep better, improve your digestion and help you start your day fresh and full of energy.