Feel your best by eating this late at night!
We’re thrilled to announce Nutrition Coaching is now available at Aches Away! Lose weight, feel great and fix your digestive issues with help from Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Mallory Aldred, and Nutritional Therapist, Vanessa Phillips. Check out their short introductory videos here to get a little taste of their offerings and approaches.
Late night snacking options without the guilt
Nutritionist Mallory Aldred explains
Just like Mallory said in the video above, if you are still hungry after dinner, eat! A late night snack is in no way detrimental to your health. It’s what you eat that often is.
Nutritionist Vanessa Phillips explains
When hunger becomes anger
Stop yourself from eating when your body actually needs fuel and it can have some serious consequences.
Food restriction is stressful for your body, and your brain, in particular, doesn’t enjoy it. Run out of fuel and your brain sets a plan in motion to encourage you to focus on the important task at hand: getting food.
During the day, you can recognize the symptoms of this quite well. Go too long without and the warning signs go from a moderate tummy rumble to irritability, dizziness and a sickly feeling in the pit of your stomach. If you still don’t get something in your belly, hunger can become anger.
Yes, we all know what that feels like. Your brain literally goes into fighting mode as a sign of its desperation for fuel. When your blood sugar levels drop too low, your brain becomes frazzled. Because it’s primary fuel source is glucose, it’s the first organ to begin acting erratically when the supply starts to dwindle.
And when you do finally eat, you feel much better, don’t you? It gives you the energy you need to get through the rest of the day and has a positive influence on your mood, ability to concentrate and general sense of wellbeing.
At night, it’s a little different.
Night time hunger robs you of your precious sleep
Go to bed feeling peckish and it could mean that you sleep soundly for the first couple of hours, but at 3 or 4 a.m., you’re suddenly wide awake and, for the life of you, you don’t know why. This drop in blood sugar also triggers the release of the stress hormones cortisol from your adrenal glands. Cortisol levels should remain low at night to allow for restful sleep, instead it has now a spiked.
It leaves you tossing and turning, barely sleeping until your alarm goes off to signal the need to get out of bed. You feel like you’ve hardly slept, and you’re annoyed, irritable, hangry first thing in the morning. What a way to start the day.
Not only has the myth that you need to restrict food intake at night left you with sleep dept, it’s likely also going to affect your food choices for the rest of the day.
Your brain, tired from the lack of ZZzzzs, and still seeking out simple sugars as a source of fuel can have you reaching for unhealthy meals all day.
It’s a vicious cycle that continues as you again, stop yourself from eating the following evening.
After a while, it leaves you:
- Emotionally charged
- Craving sugar
- Dizzy when you stand up
- Struggling with weight gain
So, what do you do?
Sometimes you just need a little something to eat before bed, especially if you don’t feel satisfied after dinner. Choose a protein and fat-based snack to maintain your blood sugar levels longer. Because protein and fat take longer to digest, they can slow down the rate at which carbohydrates are broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream. This means the chance of a blood sugar crash at 3 or 4 a.m. is less likely.
When I could still eat dairy, plain smooth cottage cheese with a swirl of crunchy pure peanut butter and frozen was a real treat! Tastes like frozen yogurt but without the sugar! Great protein, fat and carb combo to help to balance blood sugar levels at night.
And if you do wake up at 3 or 4 a.m., there’s something you can do to help you get back to sleep. Instead of lying in bed trying to figure out why you can’t sleep, it’s better for you to get up and have a little snack than it is to lie there, trying and failing. Your sleep has been disrupted anyway, and it’s better to fix the cause right there and then. A boiled egg, tablespoon of nut butter, some coconut chunks, or small palmful of trail mix can help to get your blood sugar levels back on track.
Avoid carbohydrate-rich cookies, cakes and treats as the sugar in these foods will quickly spike your blood sugar but leave it crashing a short while later, setting off the unwanted chain of events once again.
Pumpkin seeds! As a bedtime snack that also help to support restorative sleep (magnesium, tryptophan) + keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the night to keep you from waking up
Take precaution; protect your sleep and manage your blood sugar levels! Allow yourself to eat a small snack before you go to bed to better manage your blood sugar imbalances. The most important thing is to choose what you eat wisely, keeping it to a small portion of a healthy, protein- and fat-based snack.
Happy snacking… and sleeping!
Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Previous NCAA Division I Athlete
Mallory provides an individually tailored, non-diet approach to whole body wellness where she offers a variety of programs centred around real-time education, team work, and accountability.
Learn more about Mallory
Functional Nutritional Therapist
Vanessa can help you to identify where your problems may have started and, more importantly why. Because The Why is the trigger. Learn more about Vanessa