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Should I Go To Bed Hungry If I’m Trying To Lose Weight?

Should I Go To Bed Hungry If I’m Trying To Lose Weight?

This is one of those food myths that in some ways has some validation, but honestly, there are more important considerations when it comes to keeping off the excess fat.

 

Sleep is the time your body moves from a sympathetic (fight or flight) dominant to a parasympathetic (repair and renew) dominant state. Even at rest, your body’s cells are replicating and replacing themselves, digesting food, and you are dreaming and storing your memories and thoughts for the day. All these processes require energy and will draw on the food you have eaten throughout the day and that night.

 

The biggest impact will come from the type of food you eat before you go to bed. Energy sources, such as sugar and alcohol, are digested very quickly into the bloodstream. Eating a block of chocolate and a bowl of ice cream just before bed, without using the energy gained from that food, will store the energy in the body, usually as fat. That is, unless you are cutting sick moves on the dance floor at Fannies nightclub in Newcastle on a Saturday night (oh wait, that was probably me at 18!).

 

If you’re going to eat closer to bedtime then make sure you keep the processed carbs and sugars low. These are empty energy sources and do not really provide any of the building blocks to create new cells. Your body is made up of proteins, and every cell has a fat/lipid layer. Proteins and fats are vital to health, and the liver can turn fat into glucose. You are much better off eating a meal high in quality protein and good quality fats than the devilishly addictive sugar sweetness that sometimes calls late at night. Healthy fats – such as coconut oil, organic and pasture raised meats, eggs, avocado and butter – all help to provide your body with the necessary building blocks to manufacture sleep hormones.

 

You will sleep much better eating fats rather than sugar, and there is a good reason for this. If you have a big sugar hit before bed, your body will burn that up first and then you will have a drop in blood sugar levels. This can stimulate hormones that don’t play well with sleep. As mentioned above, you want to eat whole, unprocessed foods that are slow burning to keep your blood sugar levels stable while sleeping. Healthy fats will help to slow down the release of the carbs you get from your salads and vegetables.

 

Intermittent fasting can seem to contradict some of the above… so we’ll leave that for another discussion!

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