“Don’t eat before you go to bed! Your body won’t digest it while you sleep and it will just turn into belly fat! In fact, you shouldn’t even eat after 8:00 pm!”

How many times have you heard something like this when you walked into the kitchen for something to snack on while watching a late-night movie? We’ve always been told that eating before bedtime is a bad idea. But certified nutritionists say that’s wrong. Don’t get excited though – this doesn’t mean that you can fire up the BBQ at 10:30 at night. What it means is that you can snack after midnight and still be healthy. Just ask any nutrition consultant.

Bed Hungry or Snacking Late at Night

Let’s dispel a popular and enduring notion right now: you will NOT gain weight by eating before bedtime. Online nutritionists agree. It is treated EXACTLY like all other calories and is NOT converted into belly fat. Don’t worry. But be mindful of what you eat, because fatty or spicy foods can cause indigestion, which will make it hard for you to sleep comfortably. As well, be careful of any food that might stimulate you, as you won’t be able to fall asleep. Avoid anything with caffeine or lots of sugar.

Not only is it acceptable to eat before bed, it might be a good idea sometimes. Many people work late hours or have long commutes, and they might not be home until 8:30 or later. Skipping dinner because you are going to bed soon is a bad idea. The hunger pangs will make it hard for you sleep for too long and you will be battling your stomach all night. As well, skipping dinner will cause you to be voracious and overindulge at breakfast.

Certified nutritionists agree: don’t go to bed hungry! Listen to what your body needs! If you are going to eat before bedtime, keep it light though. You really want to avoid indigestion. Avoid spicy and fatty foods and try to keep the calorie count below 200. Some suggestions could be high-fibre cereal, peanut butter on toast, Greek yogurt and granola, or avocado. Remember: each person has different dietary needs. A good nutrition consultant can help what fits your needs the best.

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