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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tip of the Week: Eat Right Before Bed or Go to Bed Hungry?

Which is worse? Eating dinner right before bed or sliding into the sheets hungry? This is quite a dilemma especially if you've just finished an evening Bikram class and didn't eat a couple of hours beforehand. The following is an article by that helps to answer this tricky question.

Don't go to bed with a growling stomach, says Melinda Johnson, R.D., a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Hunger signals the brain to stay alert so you can scavenge for sustenance. And a hungry, restless night makes for next-day grogginess, which could have you desperately reaching for more calories for energy. As for eating a full meal right before bed, you might have heard that it makes you more likely to store the calories as fat because you're not awake and actively burning them. Not true, Johnson says—timing doesn't matter much to your body, calorie burn–wise. That said, going to bed stuffed isn't a great idea, since you could wind up with sleep-disrupting heartburn or indigestion. Have a light 200- to 300-calorie prebed snack that includes carbohydrates and protein, suggests Michael Breus, Ph.D., author of The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan. Think carrot sticks with 1/2 cup hummus or a sliced apple with 2 tbsp peanut butter. The carb-protein combo triggers the brain to produce serotonin, a calming hormone.

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