There’s something about late-night food that we can’t resist. While we shouldn’t even be eating past 9 p.m., there are times where we just give into our cravings. But there are certain foods that just really aren’t meant for us to consume right before bedtime. Do late-night snacking the right way by avoiding these 10 foods from AskMen.
Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry’s might be the most comforting bad-breakup bed accompaniment, but there’s a limit to its soothing properties. For starters, ice cream is loaded with fat, so you’re not going to give your body a chance to burn any of it before bed, and then all of the sugar is going to pump your body full of energy right before you hit the hay, so you’ll be sending your body divergent messages. On top of that, the sugar just gets stored and turned to fat, too, so this is a lose-lose situation all around. It’s also been discovered that eating high-sugar foods before bed causes nightmares, so while the taste might be calming, the results are unnerving.
>>Read more: If you’re still tempted, try our Skinny Ice Cream options!
Celery: Seeing celery on this list might surprise you, but there’s a simple reason for it: celery is a natural diuretic. What that means is it’s going to make you pee a bit more than usual. Diuretics elevate the rate of urination because they push water through the system. So that means that if you’re dipping into too much celery right before bed, your body might wake you out of your slumber for a pee break. Vegetables are some of the most nutrient-rich foods you can give your body, but avoid ones like celery for the sake of uninterrupted sleep.
Pizza: If you want to give your stomach a good workout before bed, feed it some greasy, salty pizza. Your stomach, like the rest of your body, would love to relax when most of the other organs are chilling, too, but pizza isn’t exactly a light meal. Your tummy will have to get busy. The layer of tomato sauce has high levels of acidity, which is just another catalyst for acid reflux, but in general, fatty and greasy toppings — especially high-fat meats and cheeses — do a good enough job of their own on stirring up heartburn. That’s not the wakeup call you want at night. If you’re going to do it, be nice to your stomach and check out these nutritional pizza toppings. One slice isn’t the end of the world, but when’s the last time you stopped at one slice?
>>Can’t resist? Try our Cheesy BBQ Chicken Pizza!
Cereal: Mitt Romney loves a good bowl of cold cereal right before bed, but he might want to be careful which one he chooses or he won’t get the rest he needs. Cereals often contain high amounts of refined sugar and are chock-full of carbohydrates. That might set you off on a bit of a spike and crash in your blood sugar levels, which is not the ideal way to put your body at peace before bedtime. Instead of reaching for Lucky Charms or Fruit Loops, go for these best breakfast cereals. Those that are whole-grain and have low sugar will quench the craving but won’t keep you up.
Dark Chocolate: Who doesn’t like to sneak a little nub of chocolate before bed to get that warm feeling inside? Unfortunately, if you’re aiming for a good night’s sleep, dark chocolate is one of the foods you’d better avoid. Dark chocolate is a sneaky source of caffeine, which is known to perk you up. Almost all chocolate contains some level of caffeine, and on top of that, it’s loaded with stimulants like theobromine, which is known to make your heart race a little bit. The lone saving grace is white chocolate, which doesn’t have theobromine and is usually short on caffeine.
>>Read more: Stuff these raspberries with white chocolate for your late-night sweet tooth!
Check out AskMen for all 10 foods you shouldn’t consume before bedtime!