You’ve likely heard that you shouldn’t eat after 6pm or, is it 7pm? So-called fitness experts would like you to believe that everything you consume after that “magical” time will quickly be turned into belly fat. Essentially, the widely-held belief is that eating after this cut-off time will not only hamper your weight loss efforts, it may even cause you to gain weight.
Well, the good news is not every food that you eat past 7pm will be automatically deposited to your butt and thighs. As a matter of fact, these three foods serve as late-night snacks to support your weight loss and body composition goals. You’ll be extremely excited to learn that by choosing the right foods, you can accelerate fat loss, support your calorie-burning lean muscle, and improve recovery. Let’s get started!
- White Meat Protein
White meat animal protein sources such as chicken and turkey, as well as eggs, are great pre-bed meal choices. These slow-digesting proteins will provide a sustained release of amino acids, increase satiety, elevate your metabolism, and stimulate your body to secrete glucagon.
Why not red meat, you ask? According to a study by researchers in Australia, red meat may result in a higher insulin response than that of white pasta.
As a result, it may not be your best option because, remember, you want to reduce insulin levels before bed. Fish is also probably best to avoid at this time as well. In the same study, researchers found that the insulin response to fish rivaled that of high-carbohydrate whole-grain bread.
Stick with the white meat, like turkey and chicken. While it’s certainly up for debate, turkey contains high concentrations of the amino acid tryptophan, which may help your sleeping efforts by promoting relaxation and drowsiness.
- Milk Shake
Milk protein is approximately 80% casein and 20% whey. The former is a slow-digesting protein while the latter is a fast-digesting protein. Cottage cheese is a milk-based food that is predominantly casein.
Milk contains the amino acid Tryptophan, a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin which makes it easier for one to fall asleep.
- Green Vegetables
Didn’t see this one coming, did you? Veggies, despite being classified as carbohydrates, are low glycemic and will not promote much of an insulin response, if at all. In fact, rather than just being okay, this is a great time to increase your vegetable intake.
Consuming some veggies late at night will not only help subdue cravings, they’re rich in much-needed micronutrients and can help you balance out your body’s acidity, especially if you are going to add some protein.
Because veggies contain virtually no calories, they are a great option for “snackers” or folks who like to eat while watching television or reading.
Rather than reaching for that high-carbohydrate, insulin-spiking potato chips, slice up some multi-colored bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, and cauliflower and snack away!