One of the biggest myths out there is that in order to lose weight and sleep tight, you need to stop eating after 7pm. This simply isn’t true. What is true is that you have to make healthy choices, count your calories, and watch your portion sizes. And if you select the right foods, you actually improve your sleep quality.
If you’re following the eating schedule of 6 mini-meals a day (to boost metabolism, a schedule most used by those on a weight training program) then a bedtime snack is a necessity. Same might be said for those who are a diabetic monitoring their blood sugar levels overnight.
What are some healthy bedtime snacks?
First let’s talk about the foods to avoid. Here’s what you don’t want to have happen: You don’t want to have heartburn and/or indigestion and you don’t want to send your sugar levels through the roof. So it’s wise to avoid trigger foods such as spicy foods, sugary foods, citrus foods, tomato sauce, etc.
What you do want to do is select foods that are easy to digest. You also want to choose foods that are high in fiber, protein, calcium and healthy fats, that way you can burn fat faster while you sleep.
Also, a new study out of the University of Wisconsin shows that foods high in potassium will help you maintain normal slow wave sleep (which is most refreshing wave of sleep to be in).
- Berries: All berries are low in sugar, and high in fiber. They help calm my sweet tooth. I love to pair my berries with a Deep Chocolate Vitalicious Vitatop (muffin tops that are low calorie, low fat, high fiber, good protein and nutritionally packed with vitamins and minerals).
- Almonds: A large handful is about 24 almonds. They are high in protein, fiber and omega 3’s! A perfect metabolism boosting, fat burning combo.
- Light/Nonfat Yogurt (I prefer Kroger’s CarbMaster Yogurt): The more calcium you consume, the less fat your body stores. Yogurt is also a great source of potassium.
If you really want to up the ante with consuming a food that will work for you, select one that is high in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that promotes feelings of calm and relaxation. It also contains serotonin to help you sleep! These snacks include:
- A handful of sunflower seeds
- Turkey slices wrapped around mozzarella cheese.
- Apple slices dipped in a spoonful of peanut butter
- A cup of warm milk sprinkled with nutmeg
- Scrambled eggs
- A cup of plain oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon
Try this bedtime smoothie!
Tofu not only contains a large amount of tryptophan, but it’s soy content provides an ample source of potassium for a double sleep whammy!
Tofu Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- 3/4 cup silken tofu
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 frozen banana, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup soymilk, or low fat milk
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter (optional, for more flavor, protein & potassium)
- 2-3 ice cubes
Blend and enjoy!
Share your other favorite bedtime snacks by leaving me a comment below!