For many people, small snacks are part of a cosy evening on TV or a social gathering with friends. But the wrong choice of food can increase weight and impair sleep.
A cosy evening without snacks is hardly imaginable for many people. However, only very few people choose healthy foods such as vegetable sticks. Rather popular are foods that not only contribute to weight gain but also impair sleep.
“It works both ways. A healthy diet improves the quality and duration of your sleep. And sufficient sleep improves the quality of your nutrition by containing the hunger hormones “, explains the Ernährungsberaterin Brigid Titgemeier in a contribution of the renowned Cleveland Clinic (USA). Experts at the clinic provide information on four types of snacks that should be avoided, especially in the evening:
One should avoid eating out of boredom. “Having something to do while watching TV is not a good reason to eat,” says nutritionist Kristin Kirkpatrick. To maintain a slim waist, the expert says it is ideal to eat all meals before 6 p.m. If you are not really hungry, “a nightly snack at the end of the day is a waste of fuel,” she says.
Healthy eating improves sleep
Cereals and milk are among the worst snacks. This is because it is difficult to control how much you eat. “Cereals are full of carbohydrates, especially when they are sweetened – and let’s face it, they usually are,” says nutritionist Julia Zumpano. One cup of milk gives you eight grams of protein and twelve grams of carbohydrates.
“Using whole milk also gives you extra fat calories, which you certainly don’t need at the end of the day,” the expert says. If you really want to eat a muesli in the evening, you should choose a product with very little sugar and lots of fiber and consume a maximum of one cup of it, combined with an unsweetened milk alternative such as almond, soy, hemp or coconut milk.
The nightly calorie intake should be limited. This is difficult to achieve with salty snacks such as potato chips or tortilla chips and dips. “These foods are not nutritious. They are rich in calories – every little bite contains a lot of them,” explains Anna Taylor, a dietician. What is even worse is that salty snacks do not satisfy your cravings. Instead, they increase your craving for sweets, “so I end up eating another (sweeter) snack!
Evening snacks ruin your diet
Think about these tips the next time you have a nightly craving. You will appreciate making healthier choices when you are in bed – and when you get on the scales. (ad)
“Evening snacks should focus on food that calms your body and prepares you for sleep,” says Ms. Titgemeier. Avoid anything that contains sugar, caffeine or alcohol, she advises. Such foods will stimulate your body. “Biscuits, chocolate bars and anything rich in refined sugar will lower your serotonin levels and make it difficult for you to fall asleep,” the expert notes. Caffeine and alcohol disturb the sleep pattern and make it difficult to fall asleep, sleep through and enjoy the deeper sleep phases.
WashingtonNewsday Health and Wellness.