Reducing your caloric intake is the bottom line, basic tenet of most weight loss plans. As you use more calories than you consume, your body is forced to burn fat stores, which results in weight loss. You might also have heard that it can be a bad idea to eat before bed, because your metabolism slows while you’re sleeping. Therefore, you won’t burn off the calories you consume, impeding your weight loss progress.

This can be true, depending upon what you eat. You certainly don’t want to splurge on a pint of ice cream or a plateful of lasagna! But that doesn’t mean you’re forced to go to bed hungry. A light snack (and the right type of snack) can actually be a good idea.

Warm your belly. Warm food actually tricks your stomach into thinking you’ve eaten more than you actually did. Plus, the warmth can be soothing and help you fall asleep faster. A simple cup of broth is an acceptable late-night snack.

A small amount of protein keeps blood sugar levels even. Try half a cup of cottage cheese or yogurt, (with a bit of fruit mixed in, if you prefer). An ounce or two of cheese is an acceptable alternative.

Fill up with fiber. The fiber in fresh fruits and vegetables helps you feel satiated, and their low calorie count means you don’t have to worry. Just watch additives like peanut butter or ranch dressing, since they’re much more calorie-dense.

Carbs can help you sleep. In small doses, carbohydrates can actually help you fall asleep by boosting the tryptophan in your circulation. Just keep the snack light. A slice of toast, a cup of popcorn, or a small serving of cereal with milk make good bedtime snacks.

With any bedtime snack, the point is to keep the calorie count low (around 100 calories, or so), and to choose foods that are nutritionally dense. As always, call us to schedule an appointment if you need to discuss your weight loss plan in more detail. We can help you decide how much, and which type of foods you should be eating in order to reach your goals.