Myth or Fact: Eating Before Bed Can Make You Fat?

Many people think that eating before bed is a bad thing because it can make you gain weight. In fact, eating dinner before bed can actually provide several benefits.

Table of Content

1. Eating dinner before going to bed makes you gain weight is a myth
2. The dangers of eating before bed
3. Various benefits of having dinner before bed
4. A healthy food alternative that can be eaten before bed
5. When is the right time to sleep after dinner?

Most people think that eating before bed is a bad thing. The reason is, eating dinner before bed is often claimed to cause weight gain.

However, some people believe that eating a snack before bed can actually support a diet program in an effort to lose weight. So, which myth is true?

Eating dinner before going to bed makes you gain weight is a myth

Eating before bed at night is often associated with weight gain. This is believed to be because the metabolic process in the body will slow down when you fall asleep, causing food calories to be stored as fat.

However, a number of health experts say that eating dinner before bed is very good in improving sleep quality and aiding weight loss. No doubt, this is what then causes many people to be confused.

In fact, there are no valid research results to be able to prove these two statements. Researchers from Northwestern University once found that eating at night can increase body weight by two times.

However, the study was not proven in humans, but in a group of mice. Thus, research on eating at night can increase weight is still not proven.

So, although many people believe that the body’s metabolic processes are slower during sleep and thus lead to weight gain, the reality is that metabolic activity at night is actually there. Thus, your body still needs energy while sleeping.

In addition, eating before bed will not slow down the performance of the digestive process. You also don’t need to worry because the digestive system will function properly even if you are in a sleep state.

The dangers of eating before bed

Although it has been explained that eating dinner before bed can’t increase weight, in fact there are several things that prove that eating dinner before bed can have a bad impact on body health. What are those?

1. Eating before bed is an unhealthy habit

Weight gain can actually occur if what you consume before bed is a snack. Snacks are additional foods that contain excess calories, such as various types of chips, cakes, or other sweet foods.

For most people, eating out at night is not caused by metabolic processes turning to storing calories as fat. On the contrary, weight gain is precisely the result of unhealthy habits that often accompany, such as snacking before bed.

It is undeniable that most people enjoy snacking at night because of cravings or overcoming boredom and stress while watching television or doing chores. Well, this habit can actually cause your weight gain.

In addition, some people can also feel very hungry before going to bed because they feel they are not eating enough during the day. This extreme hunger can cause you to go crazy for dinner before bed, too full to eat the next morning so that you become hungry again at night.

If left alone, the cycle will become a bad habit. This cycle can easily cause you to overeat, thereby increasing your weight. Therefore, make sure you always eat enough during the day.

2. Eating before bed is not good for people with stomach acid

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD ) occurs when stomach acid rises up into the throat because the stomach is too full to lie down. Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and asthma that gets worse at night.

If you experience these symptoms, you should avoid eating snacks, at least three hours before bedtime.

In addition, you also need to avoid drinks containing caffeine and alcohol, tea, chocolate, or foods containing spicy spices before bed. The reason is, all types of food and drinks with these contents can worsen the symptoms of rising stomach acid.

Various benefits of having dinner before bed

While eating before bed may be a bad thing for some, it can actually benefit others. Here are the various benefits of eating before bed that you can get. According To The Yoga Institute Health Tips: Dinner Habits for Better Sleep

1. Lose weight

Several studies have shown that eating dinner before bed can help you lose weight. Yes, if you tend to eat most of your calories at night and then have a snack after dinner, it can help you control your bedtime cravings.

A study that supports this statement was conducted for 4 weeks on adults who have the habit of eating before bed.

They found that participants who ate a bowl of cereal and milk about 90 minutes after dinner consumed an average of 397 fewer calories per day. In the end, the study participants lost 0.84 kilograms of body weight.

The study also proved that adding a snack after dinner can help you feel satisfied quickly and eat less than you should. Over time, this method is also beneficial in losing weight. But remember, try to eat snacks at night with low calories, yes.

2. Make sleep more sound

Indeed, not much research has been done on the benefits of eating before bed on this one. However, many people report that eating before bed can help them sleep better or prevent them from waking up hungry at night.

This makes sense, considering that having dinner before bed can help you feel full at night. That way, you will have enough time to sleep and wake up to eat again due to waking up at night.

There is no evidence that eating a healthy snack before bed leads to weight gain. Therefore, if you feel that eating something before bed can help you sleep more easily, then do it and there is nothing to worry about.

3. Balancing blood sugar levels for diabetics

The benefits of eating before bed on this one may not be felt by healthy people. In the morning, the liver begins to produce extra blood sugar to provide the energy needed to wake up and start activities.

Some people with diabetes usually wake up in the morning with high blood sugar levels, even if they haven’t eaten anything since the previous night. Well, eating a healthy snack before bed can help balance your blood sugar levels.

In addition, several studies have shown that eating a bedtime snack can help prevent these changes in blood sugar by providing an additional source of energy to help get through the night.

However, the results of these studies are still very mixed, so they cannot be recommended for people in general.

If you have high or low blood sugar in the morning, talk to your doctor or dietitian to see if eating a bedtime snack is a good idea for you.

A healthy food alternative that can be eaten before bed

If you have to eat before bed, make sure you eat healthy foods that are low in calories. Here’s a list of recommended foods to eat before bed:

1. Banana

The benefits of eating bananas before bed are apparently very many. Bananas are one of the fruits that are high in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is active at bedtime to increase metabolism and strengthen the immune system.

In addition, bananas also have tryptophan compounds and amino acids that help produce the hormone melatonin. This hormone serves to improve the quality of a good night’s sleep and to treat insomnia.

2. Dates

Dates can also be used as a good fruit to eat before bed. The benefits of eating dates before bed include being able to make you full faster so you can sleep more soundly. Dates are rich in fiber content which can make you feel full longer.

3. Tomato

Nutrient-rich tomatoes can also be one of the safest foods to eat before bed. The benefits of eating tomatoes before bed include launching the digestive system to make bowel movements smoother in the morning. In addition, tomatoes can also remove toxins from the body, so it is very good to eat before bed.

4. Avocado

Avocado contains magnesium which helps to sleep better. One of the benefits of eating avocado before bed is to overcome insomnia and sleep disturbances at night.

5. Papaya

Eating fruit before bed can also be with papaya. The content of lycopene in papaya is a type of antioxidant that is important for the body. The benefits of eating papaya before bed can also make you sleep better.

6. Eggs

Eating hard-boiled eggs before bed can help produce the hormone melatonin, which makes you sleepy. In addition, eggs also contain various vitamins and minerals, including the amino acid tryptophan which can make you sleep longer and soundly.

7. Yoghurt

Yogurt contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce serotonin and melatonin compounds. Because of the content of these two nutrients, eating yogurt before bed can help you sleep better because it has a calming effect on the brain.

8. Walnuts

Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids and linoleic acid and are a good source of melatonin. The content of these nutrients is known to improve sleep quality and overcome insomnia.

When is the right time to sleep after dinner?

Eating before bed is fine. However, nutrition experts suggest that you can wait 2-3 hours after eating before lying down to sleep.

Going to bed immediately after eating will make the food back up into the esophagus. Stomach acid that rises into the esophagus can cause heartburn or GERD conditions.

As a solution, during this time you can walk or sit in bed and support the back of the body with several pillows while reading a book for 15 minutes. This is useful to give the digestive system time to digest the food in your body.

That way, you can be prevented from heartburn at night due to heartburn, and even insomnia.

Some of the things above are negative and positive effects of eating dinner before bed. If you feel healthy and fine, there’s nothing wrong with doing this habit. To be on the safe side, choose healthy low-calorie snacks and drink enough water before bed.

However, if you are in doubt, or have certain health conditions, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor first before making a habit of eating before bed.

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