Get ready for a shocker. You may have heard that anything you eat after 8 p.m. immediately turns into extra pounds. But it’s not true. When you eat isn’t the key. How much you eat is.
Too many calories, whether they’re consumed in the morning, afternoon or night will equal weight gain. However, it is best to spread your calories throughout the day. That’s because food is meant to be used for energy—energy you need more during the day while shuttling your kids to practice as opposed to the night when you’re sleeping. Still nervous about eating so close to lights out? Follow these tips to calm your head and curb your hunger.
Reassess Your Day
Waiting too long to eat during the day can cause binging at night. And when you’re looking for a fast hunger fix, it usually comes in the form of chips and dips, cheese and crackers or sweets—all of which have calories that add up faster than you think! Make sure to space out your meals throughout the day so you can avoid a snack attack at night.
Avoid Sleep Saboteurs
Sometimes consuming a heavy meal at night that’s full of fat or happens to be spicy can cause you to toss and turn. Caffeinated beverages can also disrupt your sleep, so skip those too.
Satisfy Your Hunger Simply
Don’t go to bed with a growling stomach—it could keep you awake. Instead, opt for a small snack such as a banana with peanut butter, a fruit salad with yogurt or a little bowl of cereal with skim milk. That may be all you need to have some sweet dreams and not add any inches to your waistline.
Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.