I don’t know about you, but when it comes to the subject of eating before going to bed, I was very confused. Should you eat or not before you go to sleep? Will eating before going to bed lead to weight gain? Or does it lead to weight loss? With so many different questions and contrasting answers available, a person can be become confused. For people trying to lose weight, these issues often prove distressing. Losing weight and trying to keep it off is already difficult enough.
It is part of why I decided to go over these matters in this guide. These pros and cons of eating before going to bed go over these questions and several others. In addition, it will also address the eating before bed myth or urban legend going around.
The Dieting Emotional Roller Coaster
When a person is attempting to lose weight, they will try just about anything. The emotional roller coaster of dieting and keeping the pounds off, is distressing. A large number of people all over the world dealing with weight problems go through this. Unless it is happening to them personally, it is difficult for others to understand it. Whether you are trying to lose weight for health reasons, staying fit or looking great, the end results are the same. Attempting to lose the pounds and keep them off, is an enormous challenge.
I have personally found myself going through phases in my life where I lose several pounds. Then, in a span of a few months, I slowly but surely gain them all back. Especially if I stop working out regularly or ignore not eating right.
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Is Going To Bed Hungry Smart?
One of the most important and frequently asked questions people trying to lose weight ask is if going to bed hungry is right. When is it okay to go to bed hungry and should you even do so? For decades, people believed that eating before they went to bed was bad for them. That explains why so many people wonder how many hours before going to bed should you stop eating? Although eating right before you go to sleep can lead to gaining weight, there are variables to consider.
For one, it depends on what you are eating and how much of it. It also hinges on why you are eating before going to bed. Is it because you are bored or are you actually hungry? Are you eating ice cream, cake or something which has no nutritional value for you? The real truth is that going to bed on an empty stomach is not recommendable. Your body will go into defense mode since it needs vitamins and minerals to maintain itself. Researchers have found that the food we eat, is digested and broken down into glycogen. These are the molecules in our bodies which store energy. In turn, the glucose production process takes place which leads to energy.
As far as what time should you stop eating at night to lose weight, there are differences of opinion. Some may tell you to stop eating two or three hours before. You may find others suggesting less or even longer. Lasting that long without eating is not advisable though. Keep in mind that you will also need to add the hours you remain sleeping to the total once you wake up. In some cases, that can mean lasting up to 9 hours without eating which is not very wise.
Negative Effects Of Going To bed Hungry
So what happens when you are hungry and don’t eat before you go to sleep? Studies have proven that there are many negative effects caused by going to bed famished. In fact, there are several reasons why you should avoid doing so. First, going to bed while hungry can lead to losing sleep. Since most people sleep about 5 to 8 hours, they will wake up even hungrier than usual. Waking up on an empty stomach can lead to overeating as well.
Research has also shown that going to bed hungry can lead your body breaking down muscle mass while you sleep. Remember, when your body feels hungry, it protects itself automatically. To avoid starvation, it begins to search for sugar to use as energy. Instead of burning fat, your metabolism shifts and you store it, as opposed to burning it.
The Pros Of Eating Before Going To Bed
The eating before bed myth has been going on for ages. That was because most people believed that not eating was actually a great way to lose weight. However, there are more negative effects from doing so than there are good as shown by dozens of studies. In truth, there are more pros to eating before going to bed than there are cons. Below, are several smart reasons why you should eat something at least an hour before you go to bed.
Helps You Relax
Eating a healthy bedtime snack can go a long way to helping you relax. Too many people experience emotional eating during evening hours. By depriving your body of this craving, you create long-lasting and hurtful desires. Subsequently, you binge on high fat foods to compensate for the time you starved your body. In addition, eating something healthy before going to bed will aid in going to sleep faster. You will also sleep longer and lead to not waking up during the night.
Keeps Your Blood Sugar Levels Stable
In order for your body to work efficiently, it needs to maintain its sugar levels stable. Eating a good snack before going to bed can aid in this undertaking. Balanced in your blood sugar levels is detrimental for both emotional and physical health. Low sugar levels can lead to the glucagon, which is a fat burning hormone, to not do its job. The primary function of glucagon is to burn fat. Keep in mind that high levels of sugar can be dangerous as well. That is why maintaining a balance is key.
Your Body Never Stops Working
The human body never stops functioning as long as it is alive. Although you may be sleeping, it doesn’t mean your body stops working. On the contrary, it needs energy to continue operating. Your metabolism will keep burning fat as long as it has the right amount of nutrients and minerals. Lack of either one, will cause it to function negatively and lead to it creating excess fat.
The Cons Of Eating Before Going To Bed
Eating a healthy snack before going to bed can be good for you. However, it is important to recognize that there are several reasons why shouldn’t you eat before going to bed as well. Before you say that I am sending out conflicting messages or contracting myself, let me explain. There is a significant difference between eating something healthy before you go to bed, and eating bad foods or a big meal. The former can have positive impacts while the latter, negative. You can find the best late night snacks for weight loss to help you make the right choices. In addition, information on what to drink before bed to lose weight is also available. Drinking a healthy milk shake can not only keep you less hungry, it will also provide you with high quality nutrients and essential proteins. Plus, a snack or a protein drink will help you with your dieting plans.
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Ingesting large meals before you go to bed can lead to several problems, besides just weight gain. For one, it can lead to insomnia and indigestion. Lying down on a full stomach typically disrupts our digestive systems. Eating or drinking alcohol or caffeine can also keep you up at night. Another con to eating before going to bed is heartburn.
The most important negative to eating before going to bed is that it can lead to overeating. In turn, you will end up gaining weight. The best way to avoid all of these problems is eating foods which are good for you. Foods which are high in fat should be avoided at all cost. Stay away from emotional or binge eating during the night as well. It doesn’t mean you should not treat yourself to a piece of cake or something you crave. Just make sure you do it in moderation and don’t do it when you are very hungry.
Giving your body the cravings it desires once in a while, will avoid emotional binge eating later on when you crash from a diet. And at some time or another, we all crash or abandon our diets. Just remember that you are not alone and this happens to all of us. The underlying factor is to get yourself back up and keep up the good fight.
Bottom Line On Eating & Dieting
Eating and dieting are a complicated matter. There are people who use one method which works for them, while some use another. But the bottom line on both of them, is making sure they are done right. If you eat the right foods and follow a healthy regimen, your dieting should be successful. Exercising regularly also helps when it comes to losing weight. The most important issue is to remember the amount of calories you should consume each day. From men, their average calorie intake is about 2,500 per day. If he wants to lose at least a pound every week, then he should lower that count to 2,000 a day. Plus, he should also do regular workouts.
For women, the amount of daily calorie intake is 2,000 calories per day. If a woman wants to lose weight, then she should not consume more than 1,500 calories a day. Doing yoga or any other form of exercises on a regular basis, will also help them lose weight at much faster rates. In the end, any calorie intake that passes those numbers during a 24-hour period is what matters. Regardless of the hour you eat, if you pass those daily caloric recommended numbers, you will gain weight. The only way to avoid this is by working out or exercising to compensate for those extra calories.
My Own Personal Experience
For the most part, I have had my own weight problems in my life. Although I’ve always managed to stay fit, it has become harder to keep the pounds off as of late. Now that I have gotten older, this has been more of an issue for me. That’s because once we pass a certain age, our bodies reprogram and alter. Typically, a person can eat all types of foods without ever gaining weight when they are younger. However, as we mature in age, everything changes. If you don’t watch what, when and how you eat, you could gain weight fast. The same goes for anyone who doesn’t exercise often or performs physical activities.
I have managed to stay fit by eating smaller meals throughout the day and exercising. I eat at least 5 times a day, every few hours. This helps keep my body constantly burning calories and full of the nutrients and minerals it requires. In addition, it also helps me to avoid getting very hungry and over eating. I typically snack on something at night, an hour or so before going to bed. I may drink a weight shake or peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a warm glass of milk or a fruit salad which includes bananas. In the morning, I wake up energized and ready to go. And less hungry than if I don’t snack on something before going to bed.
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Find The Right Balance
The key to whether or not you should eat before going to bed is not the real question. The answer to it all is finding the right balance between them both. Doing too much of either can lead to problems and weight gain. Additionally, you may experience health issues and complications. If you try a method that is not working for you, change it. Keep looking for the right combination that will lead to the best results possible. These days, it is not just about staying fit to look great. It is also about staying energized, healthy and ready to take on the world.