Is this you? Are you someone who exercises regularly, eats well, yet suffers from the common late-night munchies? Sounds familiar right? This is a typical sign of the body requiring more protein throughout the day.
If you are going to crawl out of bed in the middle of the night, it’s recommended to pour yourself a cold glass of water. “Dehydration is often mistaken for hunger,” says Stella Metsovas, a certified nutritionist in Laguna Beach, CA. “Make sure to drink at least two cups of water before consuming any snack. Studies show cold temperature liquids trick our bodies into thinking we are full.
If you are going to eat late at night, which isn’t so bad for you if you choose the right foods, always choose a protein before a carbohydrate. Always. (Refer to the health benefits of eating protein in this article.)
The food we crave at night is usually rich in fat, high in sodium, and refined sugars. A heavy meal will tax your digestive system, making you uncomfortable and unable to get soothing and much needed zzz’s. Studies have shown that people consume such foods (i.e. ice cream, potato chips, cookies) because no one can see them.
Feeling safe and having no one to judge is a comfortable feeling.
Athletes in particular have to remember what their body needs in order to function at their highest performance levels. Shoving late night snacks into your stomach fills it and your breakfast consumption will suffer. The next time you choose the ever popular late night craving, ice cream, remember how the heavy cream and milk will not sit well in your stomach and will derail your diet as you sleep. It may taste delicious, but your body is trying to slow down and rest. Let it rest.
If you must choose sugary candies or fatty food, choose to eat them before 6pm, when your metabolism is still high and can burn more of the calories off.
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Here are a few light foods to snack on before bedtime that will likely fix your cravings:
Nuts – almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts contain healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, are high in fiber and can lower bad cholesterol levels. Nuts may also satisfy the craving of salt and the low amount of sodium isn’t awful.
Eggs – they are the ultimate protein and are very low in fat. Try an omelet (without cheese) and use 1 yolk for every 4 eggs to reduce the fat intake.
Gluten free protein shake – a fat-free egg or whey protein shake in water is excellent for anyone, not just athletes.
Salad – a small salad (without fatty dressings) is filled with heart healthy nutrients. Search for gluten free salad dressings clearly labeled.
Dry crunchy vegetables – carrots, broccoli, celery and cucumbers are fine to eat. Low in calories and nutrient-dense, veggies are a super snack.
Trying one of these tips will do wonders for you in the morning when your body is demanding food. We are all supposed to wake up hungry, some more than others. Dieticians believe that when you have zero appetite in the morning, something is wrong and needs to be fixed.
John Forberger invites you to visit his website, http://www.CeliacSecrets.com, sharing celiac disease tips and gluten free advice. Feel free to follow John on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/Glutenfreetri.
Image by themissy Two kinds of sausage, bacon, salami, cheese, hash brown patties, pineapple, and a banana. A nice gluten-free breakfast if ever there was one. I tell you, my friends, I stuffed myself with sausage every morning.
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