If you’re a still a little hungry after dinner and are looking for a way to hold yourself over until breakfast, there are a few key things to keep in mind. While it’s true that a little “midnight snack” never hurt anybody, that isn’t a blanket rule that applies to all foods. There are ten key types of foods in particular that you should never eat at night for a number of reasons.
1 Red Meat
Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons/Collin Harvey
A big, juicy steak may be delicious, but it’s hardly the best thing to eat right before bed. Red meat will kick your body’s natural processes into overtime and will make it incredibly difficult to get the type of deep sleep that you really need after a hard day at work.
Vegetables – Photo: Daderot commons.wikimedia.org
Vegetables are inherently nutritious, so you may think that they’re the perfect thing to eat right before bed if you want to stay healthy. In reality, you’d be very wrong. Vegetables tend to have a large amount of fiber, which moves incredibly slowly through your digestive system. This is another late night snack that will only keep you awake longer than you need to be.
3 Chips and Other Processed Snacks
Chips – Photo: Gerolsteiner91 en.wikipedia.org
One of the great things about snacks like chips is how convenient they are you can just grab a bag, munch away and be done before you know it. The issue is that processed foods have high doses of monosodium glutamate, which will almost certainly lead to sleep-related issues that you likely want to avoid.
Pasta salad – Photo: Brynn en.wikipedia.org
Pasta is one of the best foods to eat if you’re hungry because a little bit goes a long way. The issue with eating pasta late at night, however, is that it’s such a fatty food that it will almost certainly lead to weight gain while you sleep. The carbohydrates in pasta turn to fat pretty quickly, so if you’re trying to eat healthy at night you’ll definitely want to look elsewhere.
5 Ice Cream
Grape-nut ice cream Kristen Taylor commons.wikimedia.org
This is another snacking option that may seem convenient, but in reality is a bad idea. Ice cream is a very high source of both fat and sugar and you’re not giving your body the chance it needs to burn off any of these elements before you go to bed, which will lead to weight gain.
6 A Slice of Pizza
If you’ve got a leftover slice of pizza in your refrigerator, you’ll definitely want to save it for lunch. The fatty, greasy toppings that pizza is known for will not only lead to weight gain, but can also cause heart burn and other related issues right before you drift off to sleep at night.
Cereal with yogurt – Photo: commons.wikimedia.org
A bowl of cereal is a great way to get your body started off right in the morning. The issue with having a bowl before bed, however, is that it contains so much sugar and so many carbohydrates that your body will have no chance to truly rest to allow you to get some sleep.
8 Chocolate of Any Kind
Chocolate – Photo: André Karwath aka Aka commons.wikimedia.org
Many people don’t realize that chocolate is actually a source of caffeine, which is the last thing that you want to do before bed. If you wouldn’t want to have a cup of coffee and then go to bed, you should leave the chocolate alone for the same reason.
Red wine – Photo: Quinn Dombrowski commons.wikimedia.org
A “nightcap” may seem like a good idea, but in reality you’ll be messing with the restorative functions of sleep. Even if you do get some rest, it will hardly be the quality sleep that we need to function the next day.
Chili – Photo: freefoodphotos.com
Chili is not only filled with carbohydrates, but it’s also high in calories by its very nature. Not only will you not get the type of sleep you need if you have a bowl at night, but you’ll also be adding weight-related issues into the mix at the same time.