Coach Wendy- Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach
Lots of people ask me- what can I eat at night if I am hungry? The fact is if you are hungry it is important to get good quality nutrition as you sleep. It not only helps you sleep but will work for you burning fat instead of storing fat, that is if you follow my advice.
The trick, as always, is choosing the RIGHT foods before bed, and knowing which foods those are. Here are some general “rules” to creating the ultimate pre-bed meal:
1. Avoid starchy carbs : Because consuming starchy carbohydrates will result in a significant insulin release (which will in turn put the brakes on fat-burning), I would not choose this for a pre-bed meal. Carbs are also much more easily stored as fat in the evening hours when metabolism is naturally slowing in preparation for sleep. Besides, you have very little opportunity to burn off that energy when consuming carbs at night.
In addition to carbs, certain animal proteins have been shown to yield a significant insulin response as well, such as red meat and certain fish. While these protein foods are great during the day I am listing what I consider the best pre bed combination and, there are better choices.
2. Proteins: Slow digesting proteins, such as turkey and chicken, are great night-time meal choices as they digest slowly and fail to produce a significant insulin response.
Another great choice is the milk protein casein, found in some protein powders, and also in cottage cheese. Casein digests slowly and provides quality nutrition to your muscles over several hours…very ideal as a pre-bedtime protein source!
3. Add Healthy fats: Quality healthy fats such as nuts, oils, and nut butters are great additions to a pre-bedtime meal as they will help to further slow gastric emptying and digestion while increasing fullness and satiety so you don’t wind up snacking all night long.
Want a quick and easy recipe for a pre-bedtime meal?
Vanilla Almond Butter Shake (or pudding)
1 Scoop Vanilla Protein powder( preferably one with Casein)
1/4 cup of cottage cheese ( rich in casein)
8 oz. of unsweetened almond milk
1heaping tablespoon of almond butter
5 ice cubes
Blend in a blender for a great evening shake! OR take out the ice cubes and only use 2 oz. almond milk and Mix in a food processor for a “pudding” like snack.