Few food myths are as harmful as this myth: no eating before bed.
The thinking is that it’s bad for you because you’re consuming food when your metabolism is about ready to shut down for the day, leading to weight gain.
There are nuances to this that the myth doesn’t parse out. It’s true that if you consume a large, full meal before bed, you may experience weight gain and disruption of sleep.
If you have a workout in the evening, then this rule does not apply. You definitely want to eat something that will help your body recover without disturbing your sleep.
Depending on how intense your workout is, a light, nutrient-rich snack can aid in muscle recovery and metabolic functioning while you sleep. For workouts longer than an hour, you will want to eat a helping of lean protein an whole vegetables.
So ask yourself:
- What am I eating?
- Why am I eating it?
- When am I eating it?
- How much should I eat?
What am I eating? Full, heavy meals are a problem, but those light, nutrient-rich foods can be beneficial.
If you have a late workout or have been physically active, then a light meal of lean protein, vegetables, and a small amount of carbs will refuel you.
Why? Are you eating because you’re bored or have cravings? Or are you eating, because you need to recover from a hard workout?
Eating out of boredom is a bad habit, but eating for fuel recovery is a good reason to eat before bed.
When? Nutritionists recommend eating no less than 2 hours before bed. Regardless of how late it is, you need to eat for muscle recovery.
How much? Watch your portions! If you have the munchies and absolutely must eat something, then a fist-sized portion is the way to go.
If you find that you make poor choices after an evening workout, then you may find these meal prepping strategies helpful!
Photo 1 by Natasha Bhogal on Unsplash
Photo 2 by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash