IS IT HEALTHY TO EAT before bed? That's a common question for dietitians to hear – and the answer depends on your own preferences, as well as what you ate throughout the day and whether or not you took in enough nutrients.
For some registered dietitian nutritionists, eating before bed doesn't suit. Jessica Spiro of Jessica Spiro Nutrition, for example, used to eat a bedtime snack but stopped when she realized it prevented her from waking up hungry and eating breakfast. "Now, unless I'm actually hungry, I 'close' the kitchen after dinnertime," she says. "Now, my body thanks me with a more restful night's sleep and an empty stomach when I wake up."
Joan Salge Blake, a clinical associate professor at Boston University and author of "Nutrition & You," also passes on an evening snack – though she didn't always. "I found that this daily habit began to wreak havoc on my weight," she says. There may be good reason for that: "Emerging research suggests that eating the bulk of your daily calories later in day and in the evening may be metabolized differently, making it more difficult to manage your weight than had you consumed your calories earlier in the day," Salge Blake adds.
But plenty of registered dietitian nutritionists find eating a bedtime snack is healthy for them. Here's what those professionals choose when nighttime hunger strikes: