Ben and I are going on a hike soon, and I’m so looking forward to it! We went hiking a couple times last year and I loved it. Not only is it great exercise, but the fresh air, beautiful views, and quality time with my brother have made it one of my favorite activities. We haven’t gone in a while, and I’ve been begging Ben to go on another hike with me. Today is the day! Praise God for the beautiful weather here.
Just pray that we don’t get ticks or come across rabid raccoons. Apparently those are hazards at the place we’re hiking.
Eating Late at Night
I enjoyed a banana with pepita sunseed butter and some yogurt for late night snack at around 11.
My uncle from Canada, who is a nutritionist and dedicated athlete, was talking to me about the benefits of eating a nutritious snack before going to sleep. I used to buy into the myth that eating too soon before bedtime would result in energy just chillin’ out in my body, not being used up. Basically, the reason many people don’t eat 2-3 hours before bed is that all this unused energy will turn into fat. Sadly, I have purposely ignored my hunger at night, thinking I wasn’t doing anything that needed that much energy anyway and could just sleep through it. As I exercised more, however, I quickly realized that going to bed hungry was just not a good idea (and frankly not very comfortable) because my body needed the nutrients for muscle recovery and growth…and sometimes just because it needed FOOD. Even if I don’t exercise, I am now no longer afraid of eating before bed if I’m hungry.
Another reason I used to not eat before bed was because I was afraid I’d be too full for breakfast, my favorite meal of the day! Crazy, right? My uncle assured me that breakfast is 6-8 hours away, which is quite long enough for my body to become hungry again. And he’s right, I’m still usually hungry for breakfast. Yes, sometimes I have a little less of an appetite, but once I start eating breakfast, I usually have no problem polishing it off.
I did a little research on this particular myth and found some recurring points.
- “Our bodies need fuel constantly, not just when we are awake.” (FitDay)
- Your body will only store excess calories as fat. Eating at night does not in itself contribute to weight gain.
- Nighttime snacking becomes a problem when the foods eaten are unhealthy and/or when too much food is eaten
My uncle also told me that after a day of training, muscle builds while sleeping. And if you’re interested in bulking up, here are some muscle-building pre-sleep meal ideas.
Some of my favorite “midnight snacks”:
- Yogurt with banana slices and/or peanut butter
- Small protein shake (I will probably post a recipe later!)
- Bowl of not-super-sugary cereal
- Fruit with a handful of nuts
I try to include a little carbs, proteins, and fats in each snack, just as I try to do with all my meals! I don’t have a snack every single night, but I try to if I work out or if I’m just hungry.
**Please remember: I am not a professional by any means. My uncle is though. Nevertheless, this is simply my own experience and what I found through some internet research. As always, do what works for you and whatever your doctor may order.
Hope that was some helpful information!
Well, even after my very late snack, I was still ready for some overnight oats! I’ll post my recipe and how exactly I assemble my overnight oats soon.
Happy Friday, everyone!
So tell me: Do you like hiking? Thoughts on eating before going to sleep?