There are certain foods that most people know aren’t good for them if they want to lose weight. And, if you’ve been doing well with your diet, you’ve learned to avoid those foods as much as possible, even though it can be hard at times.
However, there are a few times during the day when temptations seem twice as strong. The one time of day that most people make the worst choices for their diet is at night.
No matter how consistent you are with your diet, if you eat the wrong foods at night, you will be seriously hindering your weight loss attempts.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid eating at night. In fact, most experts agree that if you’re hungry at night, you should eat a little something, though you need to be very cautious.
They just know that there are a few foods that are worse for you than others and that will make losing weight more of a struggle.
Eating the wrong foods late at night isn’t just about your body turning it into fat. There are other factors that need to be taken into consideration.
If your sleep cycle is disturbed because your body is working too hard to digest foods, you won’t be rested in the morning, which will affect your entire day.
You’ll be more likely to skip exercising and you’ll crave sweet and caffeinated snacks and drinks more than usual.
So, if you’re looking to lose weight, these are the foods that you should avoid at night.
1. Breakfast Cereals
This one might come as a surprise. Cereals are great for breakfast, right? So why wouldn’t they be good for the evening?
Unfortunately, the majority of cereals, even those considered ‘healthy’, are full of sugar, which will cause your blood sugar levels to sky rocket. And, cereals are usually very heavy on carbohydrates, which aren’t even good for you during the day.
If you take your cereal with real milk, you’ll be facing an entirely different set of problems. Milk isn’t necessarily bad for you, but the lactose in milk can cause phlegm to build up.
If you go to bed soon after eating your milk and cereal, this phlegm could cause breathing problems, like snoring, which could make your sleep less than ideal.
And, if you sleep with a partner, they might not be too happy with your snoring, either.
Nothing’s tastier than a plate of spaghetti, but maybe not at night. Similar to cereal, pasta is a carbohydrate. This will have your body working overtime to get this out of your system, leaving you exhausted in the morning.
On top of that, pasta sauces are a nightmare if you’re serious about losing weight. They’re full of oils, acidly sweet tomatoes, and dairy.
Not only do pasta sauces have creams and cheeses in them, but most people put extra cheese on top. These dairy products will turn into straight fat, making all your workouts during the day completely worthless.
And, just like milk, the cheese and cream will keep you up at night.
3. Rice Cakes
This might surprise you, but these famous diet snack foods are actually bad for you, especially before bed. Rice cakes are high on the glycemic index, which measures how certain foods affect blood sugar and insulin levels.
Rice cakes are close to the same levels as pure sugar, which is pretty scary, especially since they’re marketed as a diet food.
If your blood sugar spikes right before you sleep, your body will turn everything you’ve eaten into fat, which is the exact opposite of what you want.
4. Snack Packets
If you’ve been to a snack aisle recently, you’ve probably seen the stacks and stacks of 100 calorie snack packets that are advertised as being a healthy way to snack.
While it’s definitely true that these packets will help you control how many calories you’re eating, the problem comes up when you can’t stop eating.
After all, 200 calories is close to 100, right? Many studies have found that people will eat more than one of these snack packets in one sitting.
On top of the problem with eating more than recommended, most of these snack packages are high in sugar and salt and have very little nutritional value.
If you’re trying to stick with your diet, you should probably avoid these and go for dried fruit and nuts instead.
Most people are surprised to see yoghurt on the no-list. But, as mentioned above, dairy isn’t great for you before bed, anyways. However, the real problem with yoghurt isn’t the dairy, but that it’s packed full of sugar.
And even though many fruit yoghurts claim to have real fruit, this is only partly true. Fruit chunks are placed in artificially flavored fruit yoghurt, which is pretty bad for you. Stick with real fruit and you’ll feel much better in the morning.