zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

What to Eat Late

by
author image Tammy Dray
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.
What to Eat Late
A small burlap bag filled with almonds. Photo Credit Nadore/iStock/Getty Images

It’s not true that eating late at night will make you gain weight, according to research performed at the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University. In 2006, scientists at Oregon University compared the effect of calories eaten during the day and at night. The conclusion was that as long as you eat the same amount of calories, the time of day doesn’t really matter. The same is true of eating late and sleeping well. It’s not the fact that you’re eating but your choice of foods that matters.

Snacks

One reason that late-night eaters might gain weight is that they might snack more. People who go to bed early might eat their dinner at 7:00 p.m. and then don’t eat anything else. However, those who stay up late might reach for a few snacks after dinner. It’s those added snack calories that can result in weight gain. If you feel like snacking after dinner, you can keep the calorie count low by choosing veggies or fruits, a low-fat yogurt or a bowl of cereal with milk. Avoid sugary snacks. Not only will they contribute to weight gain but they might affect your blood sugar levels, which can interfere with your sleep.

You Might Also Like

Sleeping Aid

If you’re trying to fall asleep, eating a heavy meal late at night won’t do you any good. High-fat and spicy foods could cause indigestion or a feeling of being too full, making sleep difficult. Spicy food also wakes you up, increasing your energy levels so you’re not as sleepy. To help you sleep better, choose late-night foods that are easy on your stomach. An apple is better than a sandwich or a chocolate shake. Some foods that might normally be a healthy choice, like beans, are not a good idea late at night, as they can cause cramps, gas and other gastrointestinal distress. Instead, choose foods that contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can help induce relaxation and sleep. Foods rich in tryptophan include turkey, dairy products, bananas, potatoes and almonds.

Late Dinner

If you skipped dinner earlier in the day and you need to eat one late, try to keep it light. While a sandwich is not the best late-night snack, it’s a better dinner choice than eating pizza, a large plate of pasta or Chinese takeout. Try to make the dinner as healthy as possible by choosing whole wheat bread and skipping the mayo. Use some cheese, which contains tryptophan, but also add lots of veggies to keep it light.

Best Choices

Whenever possible, go for something liquid instead of solid. This is easier on your stomach, lower in calories and more conductive to a good night’s sleep. A cup of herbal, caffeine-free tea or a glass of warm milk are good choices. Don’t drink too much water, though, or you might wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

Related Searches

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

References

Demand Media