One of the major problems that dieters face is that they get cravings at night and tend to eat lots of junk food before they go to sleep.
These are added calories, which often makes them put on more weight than helping them lose it.
The six foods which I have suggested have been scientifically proven to help you lose weight if you eat them as a bedtime snack because they are healthy, nutritious and filling foods which are relatively low in calories. They all have an added advantage is that they help improve sleep quality.
1. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is high in protein. It will help to build muscle while you sleep. It is also low in fat and calories. A 1/2 cup of cottage cheese provides you with 13grams of protein which is more than two boiled eggs.
If you have more of a sweet-tooth, bananas are a fantastic late-night snack choice.
They are full of important nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and fiber. They are also a good source of tryptophan an amino acid which can make you sleepy.
Bananas contain high amounts of fiber. If you choose bananas that are greenish (not fully ripe), then they are also high in resistant starch. Fiber and resistant starch may help you feel full and less hungry, which leads to a reduction in calorie intake.
Remember, people who do not sleep enough tend to be much more overweight than those who do.
Almonds encourage restful sleep. You only have to eat a handful or two as a bedtime snack. They are especially high in magnesium which. Studies have shown that a magnesium deficiency greatly affects melatonin levels, circadian cycle and sleep disorders. Consuming 500mg of magnesium per day significantly improved sleep quality, sleep duration and other factors contributing to insomnia.
One handful of almonds contains about 150 mg of magnesium, which is a very healthy dose of this mineral… and remember to stick to one to two handfuls of almonds at the most.
Turkey Provides Protein and Helps Regulate Sleep. It is a relatively low calorie meat, high in protein and a good for weight loss as it reduces appetite much more effectively than fat or carbs. Turkey is also high in tryptophan which promotes good sleep.
5. Canned Tuna
In the USA 40% of the people are thought to be vitamin D deficient. A vitamin D deficiency is linked to many health problems including sleep disorders. It is also linked to sleep apnea.
Tuna is an easy and filling snack before bed, and a wonderful source of vitamin D. A small 85g tin of tuna contains 50% of your daily vitamin D requirements. Tuna also has omega-3 fats, which are important for body and brain function.
To be honest, we should all be eating far more omega-3 fatty acids. Optimal body and brain function, as well as restful sleep, are important for weight loss.
Cherries when in season as another quick, juicy and quick bedtime snack choice. A cup of cherries is only 50 calories. A super weight-friendly choice !
In a study, cherries have been shown to improve sleep and even help treat sleep disorders. They reduced the severity of sleeplessness equal to that of the herb valerian. Cherries also increase the body’s secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin which is responsible for good quality sleep.
Good nutrition, weight loss and sleep are all inter-related. If you want to lose weight you need to get a good night’s sleep. Eating before bed does not have to be bad for you. You just need to eat small servings of nutritious foods that help to keep you satisfied and some may even help you get a good night’s sleep.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !