Q&A - Snacking Before Bed

The question I am answering in this Q&A video is "What are foods are good to eat if you’re hungry before bed?"

Firstly this really does depend on your goals, there no one right answer that will suit everyone. For example if your goal is to gain muscle or athletic performance then a good snack before with a mix of carbs, protein and fat would be a good option. Something I like quite like to have for dessert is coconut yoghurt (or greek yog), with frozen blueberries, and walnuts.

If your goal is fat loss then this may be a little bit different. I actually recommend that you don’t have a snack before bed but in saying that you must make sure you are eating the right foods throughout the day, so a well-balanced breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

If for some reason you are not eating properly throughout the day or skipping meals then having a healthy snack before bed is probably going to be a good idea.

What if I get hungry before bed?

My approach as a nutritionist is to instead of just giving you snack options or giving out a meal plan, I like to figure out why things are happening and work on that as apposed to just trying to cover up an issue with you know a meal plan.

If your goal is fat loss, your getting hungry before bed and you want to know what you should eat…instead of me giving your healthy snack options, I am going to help you figure out why this is happening, and usually it comes down to 2 main reasons.

Reason 1 - You are sleeping too late

The first reason, let’s say you eat dinner at around 6-7pm, you will most likely start to get hungry 3-4 hours later depending on what you ate for dinner. If you are a night owl and sleep at 11pm or even midnight then you will probably get hungry before bed. In this case I just recommend you go to sleep earlier.

Reason 2 - Habits

The second reason, and this is what was my problem and that the food cravings that I used to get before bed was purely just habit eating. And I would say this is the number 1 issue for most people.

Your hunger or desire to eat before you sleep may just be a habit that you have got yourself into. As humans we love habits because it is sort of like a mental short cut where we don’t have to process things in our brain over and over and the human body will always seek for the easiest way of doing things. Most of our daily activities are actually habits that we have made through repetition. Then the brain and body will start to expect these habits on a subconscious level and we just continue doing them regardless if they are good or bad habits.

If you want to break or change this habit you can, it’s not easy but you can completely stop a habit however it is much easier to change a habit. So if you currently sit down on the couch with a pre-bed snack every night at 8pm, I would swap this for a cup of herbal tea. So do the same thing, sit down on the couch and drink your tea.

At first it will be quite mentally challenging because it is going against what your brain is telling you to do, but just be strong keep at it and after about a week or so it will get easier.