According to a May study by U.S. researchers on mice, eating late at night can make you gain a few extra pounds, according to The Daily Mail.
We all have sneaked out of bed for a late night snack. Don’t deny it. You did it too. But there are some foods that health experts say you should avoid. There are even considerations that when you are lying horizontally certain foods are harder to digest.
But contrary to this popular belief, foods that you eat right before bed aren’t directly stored as fat. This is a myth. What matters when it comes to weight, is the total calories consumed in any given day, not the timing of these calories. So as long as someone stays within their recommended daily allowance of calories, weight gain or storage of fat will not occur.
This also doesn’t mean you have to ward off all foods before bed. Dietitian Leslie Beck says eating a light healthy snack or a big meal at least two to three hours before bed shouldn’t hurt, according to the Globe And Mail. Here are the top 10 foods to avoid before bed.
10| Caffeinated Beverages And Foods
You might want to skip that cup of joe before bed. “Caffeine is a stimulant and will over-stimulate your nervous system hindering sleep,” says registered dietician Sarah Remmer.
Drinking before bed? You may just get knocked out and dehydrated. If you are having a few cups, you might wake up in the middle of the night feeling thirsty.
8| Spicy Food
That burn in your mouth may last longer than you want it to. These foods can produce an excess amount of stomach acid, therefore causing heartburn, bloating and discomfort which can disrupt sleep.
7| Fried Foods
Fried foods like French fries and potato chips are high in fat and take a longer time to digest. It may take hours to fully digest fried foods. If you go to bed after eating fried foods, you will likely have trouble falling to sleep due to stomach pains, cramping and acid reflux.
6| Candy Or Foods High In Sugar
Sugar is meant to give you an instant boost of energy — so having a few pieces of candy isn’t the best idea before bed.
5| Soft Drinks
These drinks are high in sugar, often contain caffeine and tend to bloat, produce gas, and cause acid reflux. Pop also doesn’t have many nutritional values, so you may just end up waking up with a full bladder.
4| Ice Cream
Having a girls night in? Having a small bowl of low-fat yogurt or milk before bed won’t do any harm. But if you have a giant bowl of chocolate chip ice cream, you can forget about getting a good night’s sleep. Ice cream contains high amounts of fat which is digested at a slow rate. It also contains a lot of sugar which can keep you up.
3| Red Meat
Read meat is high in protein and also tends to be high in fat. Both protein and fat are slowly digested, so this meat will stay in your stomach for quite a while before it is digested fully, causing discomfort and even cramping.
Chili that has beans, meat and tomato sauce is a recipe for disaster before bed. Beans are gas-producing, red meat is high in fat and tomato sauce may cause acid reflux. A perfect storm for a not-so-sound sleep.
1| Most Veggies
Most vegetables — especially broccoli, cabbage, onions and cauliflower are high in insoluble fibre which moves slowly in your digestive system. These vegetables make you full longer but also contain gas-producing qualities.
Bonus | Oats
Have the oatmeal in the morning, not before bed. Oatmeal, bran buds and barley are all high in insoluble fibre, which again can slow down digestion and cause gas.