We’re now well into spring, which means that for many of us, summer will soon be upon us. We all want to look and feel our best for summer, which means that many of us are dieting and training extra hard in order to be in the best possible shape come the summer. Rather than walking around with a pasty, flabby body, we’d much prefer to be sporting a lean, toned, muscular physique instead, and if you stick to your diet and training routines, there’s no reason why that won’t happen. Many of us seem to struggle in the evening when it comes to dieting. We're fine during the day, but late at night when we’re relaxing before going to sleep, the hunger pains and the cravings suddenly kick in. If this applies to you, then don’t worry, you don’t need to starve yourself, and you certainly don’t need to eat a sugary, greasy, fatty snack just before going to sleep either, as there are actually a number of healthy late night snacks you can eat, that won’t ruin your diet.
Natural yogurt and plain nuts – If you suddenly feel the pangs of hunger washing over your body late at night, then why not head to your fridge, grab yourself a natural low-fat yogurt, and stir a handful of plain nuts in there. The yogurt is low-fat, meaning you’re not consuming too many calories, and it’s also rich in protein. The nuts are also a great source of protein, as well as healthy fats. They may contain natural oils, but these fats are healthy, meaning that in small quantities, they can actually speed up the metabolism.
Tuna and cottage cheese – For the ultimate metabolism boosting, protein rich snack, cottage cheese and tuna are your best friends. Cottage cheese is almost entirely fat-free, is easily digested, and is rich in protein. The tuna is also fat-free, and is extremely high in protein. Providing your body with plenty of protein before you go to bed, helps to keep it in an anabolic state, which basically means that it will continue to build muscle whilst you sleep. When the body is starved of food, it falls into a catabolic state, which means it eats away at the muscle tissue, because that’s the nearest and most convenient source of energy.
Casein protein shake – Protein is thermogenic, meaning that the body burns more calories when digesting it than it would with regular food. The more calories the body burns, the more fat you stand to lose. The great thing about consuming a protein shake before bed, is the fact that it boosts your metabolism, and keeps the body in an anabolic state. Casein protein mixed with water is ideal, as this is a slow releasing protein, meaning that it will release a steady flow of nutrients into the body throughout the night. Whey protein is faster releasing, meaning that it is absorbed much quicker by the body than the casein, so whey is ideal during the day, whereas casein is best just before bed.