A lot of people are concerned about eating too close to bedtime.
On one hand, some people say you’re more likely to gain weight if you eat too late at night. On the other hand, others say that what you eat is more important than when you eat.
This article answers the popular question — is it bad to eat before bed?
Is it bad to eat before bed?
There’s a lot of controversy around eating before bed.
This is because many people believe you’re more likely to gain fat if you eat before bed.
While it’s true your metabolism slows down at night, it still averages out to be the same as the speed of your metabolism during the day. This is because your body uses a lot of energy while you sleep to fuel your brain, organs, and aid processes like recovery (3, 4).
Studies in people show that what you eat is more important than when you eat (5).
That said, there are some situations where you should avoid eating late at night. For example, if you’re prone to heartburn, it’s not a good idea to eat too close to bedtime.
However, there’s no real reason why you shouldn’t eat too late if you’re healthy.
Eating late isn’t a concern unless you are prone to heartburn. What’s more important is what foods you choose to eat, rather than what time you decide to eat them.
What should you eat before bed?
If you enjoy a late-night snack, try to choose more nutrient-rich, lower-calorie foods.
Some delicious healthy options include:
- A handful of fruit
- Apple slices with nut butter
- A slice of toast with avocado
- A few squares of dark chocolate
- A handful of nuts
- Plain air-popped popcorn
- Carrots and celery sticks with hummus
While it’s tempting to reach for desserts or other junk foods, they’re often loaded with unhealthy fats and added sugars, which can trigger cravings and lead to overeating.
If you enjoy a late-night snack, try one of the healthy options above or other nutrient-rich lower-calorie foods. Avoid eating sugary and junk foods too late.