Your eating habits have been on point.
You ate a decent breakfast. You packed a healthy lunch. Now, you’re done work and now it’s time to relax and unwind. Unfortunately, this is also where people start to slip up with their weight loss goals.
In this video, i’m going to share with you 10 mistakes when it comes to your eating habits at night that prevents weight loss.
10 Eating Habits That Prevent Weight Loss
1. Eating a high fat and high carb dinner.
If you’ve been following my YouTube channel, you’ll know that I’m a big proponent of primal living. Because that’s how we evolved as human beings.
Specifically, revolving your foods and eating habits around a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. Because it’s the best diet to moderate your insulin levels so you can easily tap into your fat burning mechanism after you’re done your meal. That way, you can get into some fat burning action while you’re sleeping.
But let’s say you go out and meet up with friends for dinner 3, 4, 5 times a week. Or maybe you’re tired you don’t want to cook so you start stopping by your closest drive through window and you order something for take out. That carb lever starts to creep up especially if you get a burger, pasta, or pizza for example a few times a week, instead of my recommended once a week indulgence.
All of a sudden, you have a high fat and high carb dinner.
If you do that consistently, you’re going to start moving away from your weight loss goals. Because those fat calories will immediately get stored as body fat because you’re eating a high amount of carbs as well. And your body will always burn glucose first before it starts burning fat.
Again, I’m not saying you can never have those things but they definitely fall more in the category of a cheat meal which I only recommend you have once a week. Follow the 90/10 rule here. Stay disciplined.
This is why I’m a big fan of setting yourself up for success by stocking your freezer with ready to go healthy meals just in case you find yourself in that, do I stick to my diet? Or do I order pizza even though it’s not my cheat day type of situation.
2. Having multiple alcoholic beverages with dinner.
This is a big one when it comes to generally accepted eating habits and it might ruffle some feathers. But hey, you deserve to know the truth.
Maybe you had a long day and you have a glass of wine or you crack open a bottle of beer with dinner. If you do that once or twice a week, that’s not necessarily the worst thing.
But if you start doing it every day, and you start having multiple drinks, then I can almost guarantee that that habit will prevent you from losing weight.
All you need to know about alcohol is that alcohol, in the form of ethanol, is actually known as the 4th macronutrient after carbs, fat, and protein. And they’re known as the first to burn calories. Because alcohol is literally poison in your body. That’s how you get the buzz. And if you drink too much, that’s how you get alcohol poisoning.
So when you drink alcohol, your body will always prioritize burning all those calories first, which inadvertently pauses the burning of all other calories. Because again, your body has to metabolize this poison that you just put in.
So if you have a drink with the pizza that you ordered from mistake number one, all those calories from fat and carbs immediately gets stored as body fat. And beer might be the worst alcoholic offender because it contains carbs. They don’t call it a beer belly for nothing.
So if you’re going to consume alcohol, stick to hard liquor or red wine because they don’t contain any sugar, and try to drink it without food.
3. Watching TV right before bed.
I know. We’re all guilty of this.
When you watch TV, it emits this blue light which actually inhibits melatonin production which is your sleep hormone.
So when you blast you eyes with blue light right before bed, your brains gets confused. It thinks that the sun is about to come up so it sends hormonal signals to wake your body up. The complete opposite of what we’re trying to do.
And you won’t find a short list of studies that links lack of sleep to weight gain. I’m not saying you should never watch TV but try to finish watching Netflix 60 minutes before bed.
What should you do instead? You can journal, you can meditate, both very good for your mental health by the way. You can read a book or you can talk to your spouse. Basically anything that helps you unwind so you can start increasing that melatonin production.
4. Drinking a ton of water before bed.
This is a super easy fix.
You should always stay hydrated throughout the day but drinking a liter of water before bed is probably not a good idea, you’re probably gonna wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and you’re gonna be interrupting your sleep. You need to empty out the tank if you will, right before bed time.
5. Late night snacking.
This is such a huge weight loss killer in terms of bad eating habits because we usually don’t snack on the healthiest stuff right before bed time. I don’t really know a lot of people who snacks on broccoli and hard boiled eggs at 11pm.
Usually, we’re snacking on something sugary like candy, chips, or a protein bar and that’s gonna cause a spike in insulin which is your storing hormone which puts your body in fat storage mode. The reverse of what we’re trying to do when we go to sleep. Because really that’s the only time when we get into fat burning mode for an extended period of time especially if you’ve been eating all day.
And we snack for two reasons. We do it out of habit or because we’re bored. Or we do it because we’re not satiated from what we had for dinner. That’s why it’s important that you eat a satiating meal.
But if you really have to, snack on something high in fat like cheese, macadamia nuts or dark chocolate for example.
6. Working out really close to bed time.
When you do an intense workout really close to bed time like if you do CrossFit, Spin, or if you decide to go for a run or something that really jacks up your heart rate, then that’s also gonna increase your cortisol which is your stress hormone.
And your body gets flooded with glucose which is a quick burning energy to fuel your fast pace. But if you have high cortisol right before bed, you can effectively kiss melatonin production goodbye because you’re high strung from your workout and again that’s gonna affect your sleep.
You don’t really want to stress your body right before bed.
Instead, you should do something that’s low intensity like going for a walk. Going for a walk after dinner by the way has been show to reduce the blood glucose response by up to 30%. Because you’re giving your body a chance to burn up some of that glucose by simply moving. And the faster you can regulate your blood glucose levels, the faster you can tap into your fat burning mechanism.
Now, if night time is the only chance that you get to workout, then I guess it’s better than nothing. Just try not to do a long workout and do your workout at least two hours before bed.
7. You’re drinking a protein shake after your workout.
I’m probably killing any potential sponsorship deals here. But unless you’re a professional athlete, you don’t need to drink protein shakes. You actually need way less protein than what you’ve been led to believe. Even if you’re active and you workout, you only need 0.7 grams per lb of lean body mass to promote muscle growth.
For example, a 200 lb person at 20% body fat, would only need to eat 112 grams of protein.
You’re probably saying, “What? I thought you had to eat your body weight?” Nope. It’s completely unnecessary and that’s way too much protein.
How did I get that number? First, you need to calculate lean body mass. 20% body fat equals 40 lbs. So if you take 200 lbs minus 40, that gets you 160 lbs of lean body mass. Then you multiple that by 0.7 and you get 112 grams of protein.
You can easily get that number by eating a lot of vegetables, a few eggs, a few ounces of meat, and some nuts.
The problem with protein powders is that, whey and casein which is what protein powders are made of, are extremely insulinogenic. So if you drink a protein shake, that’s going to trigger a huge insulin response right before bed.
And this is the same thing as late night snacking. You don’t wanna put your body in fat storage mode right before bed. Now what makes protein powders extremely insulinogenic is that they’re extremely processed. They’re also sweetened with sugar or aritificial sweeteners which also stimulate insulin.
Don’t drink your protein. Eat it. What do you think is more satiating? A piece of steak or a scoop of protein powder?
8. Not eating enough green leafy non starchy vegetables.
In terms of healthy eating habits, you can never go wrong with eating more green leafy vegetables.
When I say green leafy non starchy vegetables, i’m talking specifically about cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, brussels sprout, etc.
Those vegetables are extremely low in calories, they’re extremely low in carbs, and they’re also highly satiating because they contain fibre which activates that stretch mechanism in your stomach. They also contain protein which activates the satiety hormone Peptide YY. So eat your veggies.
9. You’re not eating enough fat.
Let’s say you’re eating a lot cruciferous vegetables but you wanna double up on your fat loss efforts so you start cutting out the fat as well.
That might start working against you because that meal is not going to be satiating and it’s going to lead you to snack on something sugary afterwards.
Now I’m not saying that you should just start eating sticks of butter but one of the best sources of healthy fats that you can add is avocado. Ideally you should be eating one full avocado every day because it’s extremely high in omega 3 fatty acids in the form of alpha linoleic acid or ALA which prevents heart attacks, it lowers high blood pressure, and could even reverse hardening of the blood vessels also known as atherosclerosis.
There’s a reason why avocado is considered a super food.
I’m still guilty of this sometimes.
This is the same concept as watching TV where it suppresses your melatonin and it makes it so that you don’t get high quality sleep. And I know that you can put your phone now on night mode. But you don’t need that brain stimulation right before bed.
The bigger problem here is spending too much time on social has been shown to increase anxiety and therefore increase your stress levels. A couple of years ago, I was going through some personal stuff and when I deleted my social media, I’ve never felt more at peace.
But there’s really no escaping it. Social media is part of life now. So I’ll meet you halfway. If you really wanna look at social media or browse through your phone, do it 60 minutes before bed so you can have some down time and increase that melatonin production so you can get some decent sleep.
I cannot stress enough how important getting proper quality sleep is when it comes to achieving your weight loss goals like I can give you the best diet advice and the best workouts on the planet. But if you don’t get your sleep right, you ain’t losing weight.
At the end of the day, it’s really all about putting yourself in the best position possible to succeed. So do your best to avoid all these unhealthy eating habits at night, and if you’re reading this in the middle of the night, uhh go to sleep.
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