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Can You Eat Just Before Bedtime? Here’s What Experts Say!

If you read health magazines or keep up with social media trends, you might have come across the notion that eating just before bedtime can lead to weight gain. Some people might even avoid that habit to stay in shape. But is it really necessary to kill your hunger?

According to Wendy Lopez, a registered dietitian, it’s not! 


Artem Labunsky/Unsplash | People who work late often feel hungry at night, but they avoid eating before weight for fear of putting on weight. Experts say, that isn’t always correct

Lopez, who follows an individualized approach, says this meal-time trend overlooks the basic requirements of people. For instance, if someone’s suffering from diabetes, they need to eat something every now and then. Similarly, if a person is working late shifts, he or she might end up eating just before bedtime. For such people, there’s no option but to eat before lights out. For such people, Lopez recommends intuitive eating for weight management.

What’s intuitive eating?

As the name suggests, this habit works as per a person’s intuition. Meaning you eat every time you feel hungry. But that doesn’t mean you can grab a bag of nachos during lunchtime and say “I’m eating as per my choice.” 

You have to choose smartly and include enough nutrition in your diet. The philosophy here is to understand your body’s needs and act accordingly. Rather than following norms and guidelines, you take control over yourself and eat as per your wish, even if it includes eating before going to bed. 


Szabo Viktor/Unsplash | Intuitive eating lets you eat whenever you feel hungry, but you have to choose smartly and include enough nutrition in your diet

We know that sounds liberating, but before you start munching your favorites right away, try and ask these questions to yourself first.

#1 – How does my breakfast look?

Often people skip breakfast either because they’re running late for work or not feeling hungry. What they don’t realize is that they’re making a huge mistake. 

Lopez says breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day. When you eat something in the morning, your digestive cycle starts early, influencing the hunger levels ahead. She explains that if someone isn’t accustomed to breakfast, their body might not accept that practice at first. She suggests such people start light. Drinking a fruit smoothie or some yogurt would be good for them rather than having eggs, toast, and fruit altogether.

#2 – How good is your entire day’s meal plan?

Lopez reveals that in most cases, hunger before bedtime arises from a lack of energy and nutrients. That means you’re not providing your body with enough protein, carbohydrates, and fats that it requires.

Having some stewed chicken with curry vegetables and sweet potatoes or a tuna sandwich with some salad could fulfill that requirement. Moreover, it can give you enough energy and keep you satisfied till the next day.

Jimi Filipovski/Unsplash | Having a filling meal during the day can give you enough energy and keep you satisfied till the next day

#3 – Are you hungry or craving something particular?

Many times, when we have a sugar craving we think we’re hungry. As such, we consume a good amount of snacks, but unfortunately, we still feel unsatisfied. Do you know why that happens? It’s because we’re giving the body something it doesn’t want. 

If you’re hungry before bedtime, that’s a different story but try to identify what’s the actual problem first. If you think it’s hunger, try eating some light foods like chicken soup, peanut butter toast, fruit salad, or anything that’s gentle on your stomach. But if you feel you need a chocolate bar, then go for that.

So then, what have you decided? Will you snack before bedtime tonight?

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