What Can I Eat at Night?

What Can I Eat at Night?

I’m frequently asked the question, ” what can I eat at night when I’m craving junk food later in the evening?”  Your best options are always lean meats and veggies, but I realize this is not exactly what everyone has in mind.  It’s the tastiest foods (fats and starches) that need to be ixnayed in the evening… bummer, I know.

Why is Eating Late is so Bad?

There are several hormonal reasons why carbohydrates are not so good before bed, but I’ll focus on the most relevant for now.  Starchy foods elicit a strong insulin response.  Many of you will probably remember my explanation (I tend to go off on a tangent when asked) of how insulin works in the body and my bulldozer analogy.  It (insulin) acts like a bulldozer pushing the glucose (starch broken down into sugar) into your cells (muscle and liver).  This is all well and good, but as the bulldozers are spending time pushing those heaping piles of glucose into the cells, they’re also blockading the fat cells so that nothing can be extracted and used as fuel.  In other words, when our insulin levels are high, we don’t burn much of our fat stores at all.  Ironically, it’s when we sleep that we burn the most fat as a fuel source.  This is highly simplified, but should make sense.  So in order to keep those bulldozers at bay while we sleep, best to avoid the starchy foods at night. 

But if You Have to Eat Something…

My default answer is usually to nibble on air popped popcorn (not microwaved) with spray butter at night since it’s so high in fiber, it elicits a very minor insulin response.  Hope this helps.  As always, thank you all so much… you rock!!!

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