While some people claim that ‘no carbs after 6 pm’ is the ultimate secret to weight loss, others swear by their high-protein, high-carb snacks just before they go to bed. Every body is different and as such, reacts to food in a variety of ways, but if one thing is for certain, these foods will not help your weight loss goals.
If you’re dying for a late evening snack, avoid these foods!
Greek salads, tabbouleh and most wraps can often include raw onion, and if you’re wanting to support your weight loss efforts, avoid it in the evening!
Why? Raw onion can causes low to moderate levels of reflux in most people, especially for those who already suffer from heartburn. These reactions can keep you tossing and turning throughout the night, and will make falling to sleep a lot harder.
Red meats and heavy proteins
Although there are masses of people who consume protein heavy dinners and sleep like a baby; for most of us, a big slab of dense protein for is one of the worst options for your weight loss efforts. This is because your body struggles to fall asleep while you’re digesting, and is the main reason people cut out all food after 6 pm. Instead, go for a light serving of protein, a handful of greens, a few tablespoons of good fats paired with minimal carbohydrates.
Related post: Is fasting the new dieting?
There are hundreds of articles that will tell you a small chunk of dark chocolate in the evening is the ultimate anti-cancer and antioxidant snack. And though they’re right in some ways, it’s also filled with natural stimulants – a big no-no before bed. Like coffee, chocolate (and in even higher levels in dark chocolate) contains caffeine, plus another powerful stimulant, theobromine.
The result? Your nervous system revs up and it makes it that much harder to get to sleep, and stay there!
You’d think the term ‘a nightcap’ was founded on some truth that having a drink before bed will help you sleep. But sadly, that last glass of wine isn’t going to do your waistline or your sleep quality any good.
- Firstly, alcohol is the first fuel your system will burn – it’s easy, fast and simple – meaning the other high-nutrient calories you consumed throughout the day will be stored rather than used effectively overnight.
- Alcohol also causes spikes in insulin production, something anyone who’s trying to lose weight should avoid at all costs, let alone just before they go to bed.
- Alcohol has dehydrating effects on your body, leading to fluid retention, cellulite and excess fat storage.
- The real damage to your sleeping patterns is caused after you fall asleep and it’s all been metabolised. The flushing of carbohydrates and simple sugars disrupts your REM cycle and induces ‘light’ sleeping throughout the night.
Safe to say alcohol should be avoided right before bed.
Fries and ketchup
The ultimate cheat meal of fries and ketchup can be exactly what you’re craving, but fair warning, it’ll cause havoc on your sleeping patterns. I think everyone is well aware of how below average fries are for your body – it’s simple carbohydrates deep fried in hydrogenated vegetable oil. To top this off with tomato sauce (which has more sugar than vanilla ice cream) you’re sending your body on a wild insulin spike and blood sugar rollercoaster – both resulting in a restless and often shorter sleep.
In addition to the high levels of sugar, commercial ketchup has a high level of acidity, preservatives and regulators added, causing you to falling asleep slower and waking up groggier.
Green tea is one of the best natural ‘fat-burners’ you can get and is a potent source of antioxidants. This drink is perfect for almost any other time in the day BESIDES before bed. Green tea has about 1/3rd of the amount of caffeine as coffee, but still delivers around 55mg of caffeine per serve. It also contains other stimulants – theobromine and theophylline – combining to give you a restless sleep and increased anxiety. Most dieticians will say the 3 most important components to weight loss is nutrition, exercise, and SLEEP, so try sipping on teas like chamomile, dandelion root, ginger or lemongrass for a caffeine-free, high-quality sleep.