7 WORST Late Night Snacks For Your Waistline
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Avoid these… even if you’re ‘hangry’.
We all know that eating right before bed is a recipe for disaster (mainly for your waistline), but did you know that it can also seriously damage the tissue in your throat and oesophagus? No doubt you’re familiar with “acid reflux” – that burning sensation you sometimes feel in your chest or throat – but there’s also something called “silent reflux,” which is different from common heartburn. It has the same causes but without the usual symptoms. Instead of indigestion, sufferers get sore throats, chronic coughs, and difficulty swallowing. Yikes!
The main risk factor? The time you eat dinner. Specialists recommend having supper no later than three hours before bed. But hey, even if you manage to do that, be aware that late-night snacking can have the same ruinous effect.
So, if you are going to hit the fridge before you hit your pillow, here are eight things you should never, ever grab.
It relaxes the valves that connect the stomach and oesophagus. When this happens, your body is unable to keep food where it belongs. Hello acid reflux!
It doesn’t get much more acidic than a can of soda. In fact, these drinks are actually more acidic than anything found in nature and their effect on your body is similar to alcohol. Plus, those fizzy little bubbles increases stomach pressure.
Certain flavours are high in fat – which comforts and relaxes the valves, too – and it contains caffeine and a lesser-known stimulant called theobromine, essentially making it a triple whammy.
It’s another fatty food, but if you must indulge, hard varieties such as Parmesan and Swiss have less of a reflux effect than softer types such as feta and mozzarella. (so, pizza is a no-no.)
When it comes to reflux, fat is fat, whether saturated or unsaturated. So despite the fact that nuts generally contain a healthy dose of the latter, they should be avoided before bed. Cashews, walnuts, macadamias and peanuts are the worst, while pistachios and almonds aren’t quite so bad.
It’s also highly acidic. Generally a glass of orange juice or a green apple are your worst choices.
Not only is it acidic, but the caffeine it contains also generates additional stomach acid. If you must sip, decaf generally has lower acid levels than regular.
So what CAN you eat when the midnight munchies strike? Well anything that’s low in acid, such as bananas, a bowl of low-sugar cereal with a milk alternative or a cup of soothing chamomile tea (it’ll also help to settle your stomach).
Looking for more info on the link between your waistline and your sleeping habits? Here are our top tips for sleeping your way to a slimmer waistline, plus did you know that 50% of fat loss actually happens when you sleep? Or kickstart your summer slim-down with our 12-week Lean Body Blitz plan.