After a jam-packed day of eating right, staying active, and other healthy choices, the last thing you want to do is undo all your hard work just minutes before bedtime. Make sure you stay on the right track by avoiding these late-night eating mistakes.
Mistake #1: Going to Sleep Too Full
Going to sleep on a full stomach can cause discomfort and disrupted sleep, which can wreak havoc on your waistline by causing you to hold on to belly fat and eat more. Make sure you eat dinner at least a few hours before bedtime; if you need a snack later on, keep it under 200 calories.
Mistake #2: Eating the Wrong Thing
It's not just when you eat, but what. Eating the wrong foods late at night can also leave you wishing you could just drift off to slumber. Avoid greasy, high-fat, heavy-protein foods if you want to catch more weight-regulating Z's; a small amount of lean protein and a little carb should be your go-to option. Find out other types of foods you should avoid late at night here.
Mistake #3: Going to Bed Hungry
You may think that going to bed with a grumbling stomach will help your body burn off more fat while you sleep, but studies have shown this isn't the case. In fact, going to bed hungry may actually cause you to lose muscle instead — which, in turn, slows down your fat-burning potential. Keep your metabolism soaring by having a small, 150-calorie snack before you climb into bed.
Mistake #4: Not Factoring In Your Snack
You've powered down for the day and put your food journal away, but don't think that those late-night nibbles don't add up. If you're sticking to a weight-loss plan, make sure you keep track of any postdinner calories, so you're not left wondering why the number on the scale doesn't budge. If you know you like to have a snack before going to bed, making sure you've "saved" a few calories from the day can help you stick to your limits.
Mistake #5: Starving All Day, Feasting All Night
There's nothing you like more than relaxing on the couch with a bowl of ice cream, so you pick at your dinner just so you can indulge before bedtime. This is a recipe for disaster; not only are you almost guaranteeing an uncomfortable night with a full stomach, saving your "cheats" for after dinner and beyond can lead to an unhealthy cycle of junk food and regret. Try to disassociate your late-night snack with unhealthy foods, and focus on eating regularly throughout the day and having a healthy snack after dinner only if you're hungry.