Thursday, February 9, 2012

Night Time Eaters...UNITE!

In case you guys haven't heard, or maybe this is your first post of mine you're reading (hi!), I am the Snacking Queen. (My army would be called the "Snack Attack"...So pun-ny). Yeah, I love to snack. In my dreams, I would rather snack all day and all night than ever eat a proper meal. I don't, except for on those weird Saturday's where you wake up at like 2 PM and don't know what to do and just end up snacking until bed time. (Does this happen to anyone else?). A question that surprisingly, no one has asked me, but that I was extremely curious about is:

"Does eating past a certain time of night make you gain weight?"

Here's the answer: NO. I will now back it up with science in the way I understand it just in case my word is not enough for you.

The ONLY way you can *gain* weight, is by eating *above* your caloric maintenance needs. If your caloric maintenance needs are 2,000 calories/day, it's 11 PM, and you have only eaten 1,400 so far, you are probably hungry! By eating another 600 calories, you are simply fulfilling your needs for the day, it is NOT stored as fat. (PS this doesn't all change at midnight, a day ends, for the sake of this post, when you go to sleep). If you have already reached your calories needed during the day and you eat over that, the excess calories will then be stored as fat. Despite the time of day. If you eat a 2,000 calorie breakfast, God help you first of all, and then eat lunch, your lunch will be stored as fat. Even if it's a salad. Boom son facts.

So why does eating at night get such a bad rap? Real talk-- at night time, before bed, which of these sounds better?

Grilled Chicken Breast with Veggies?

Or Chocolates?

Exactly. And in here lies the problem. As we wind down for the day, our bodies start to go into sleepy mode. Your blood glucose levels go down and your body now would like the quickest form of energy to spike it back up; sugar. These things are high in calories and we tend to eat over our caloric needs, without even realizing it. Also, at least in my family, we are hard wired since we are kids that after dinner we get dessert. I'm pretty sure one of my first words that I understood was dessert. And the first time I crawled, it was because someone put a chocolate cake across the room and said, "You want it? Come get it". True story. 

If I don't eat at night though, or I don't eat like 3 or 4 hours before bed, I miraculously feel skinnier in the morning. Why? I'm not totally sure to be honest. But I went to a holistic doctor once who told me it was because instead of my body sleeping and repairing itself like it should be during sleep, it spent that time slowing digesting my food. Digestion is much slower when you're asleep. It makes sense to me so I am sticking with it. But alas, as I sit here at 12:40 AM with my bag of Veggie Chips, I will never give up night time eating. I regret nothing. 

Here are a couple of healthy choices to make before bed, that I like, and for the most part, satisfy my sweet tooth.

Cottage cheese: I put a tablespoon of raspberry jam in it and some almonds

Greek yogurt: Obviously my favorite thing ever. I put anything in it from peanut butter, cinnamon and stevia, jam, but my favorite for night time is putting the powdered chocolate pudding Jell-O mix in it. Totally artificial and not super duper healthy but when I want to be healthy and want chocolate, this is magical. 

But really, it doesn't matter. Those two are supposedly the best because they are slow digesting proteins. 

Ps if you haven't tried Greek Yogurt yet in your life, go today and get some. Go get one (Fage brand is my favorite but Chobani is great too and they have flavors). Or get a plain one, drizzle some honey and throw some almonds in it. 20 grams of protein/ 100 calories. I better hear back from some of you on this! It's your homework. Until next week ... xxxx

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