Bedtime Snacks That Help You Burn Fat

Bedtime Snacks That Help You Burn Fat

Burning fat while asleep sounds too good to be true, but certain foods contain ingredients that stoke the metabolism and increase the chances of weight loss. For even greater calorie burning overnight, don’t forget the power of exercise; going for a walk or working out earlier in the day keeps the metabolism in high gear hours after leaving the gym.

Hot Peppers
Jalapenos, habaneros, hot sauce and cayenne are a dieter’s spicy best friend. The chemical capsaicin puts the heat into hot peppers, and this substance aids in fat burning as well. Capsaicin works by revving up the metabolism and causing the heart rate to increase. A bedtime snack of raw vegetables dipped into spicy salsa provides a good dose of heat for not many calories. If you suffer from heartburn, consider chasing your peppery snack with an antacid.

Whole Grains
Whole grains such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread and multigrain cereals help burn fat due to their ability to regulate blood sugar. Insulin spikes caused by processed carbohydrates tell the body that it’s time to start storing fat. Whole grains keep insulin at an even keel, so have a small bowl of whole grain cereal or a slice of sprouted wheat toast before bed.

According to Doug Kalman, R.D., director of nutrition at Miami Research Associates, our bodies burn more calories digesting protein than carbohydrates or fats. Protein also keeps blood sugar levels even. Turkey breast is a good source of lean protein, but tuna or salmon are even better. These fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent stress chemicals that contribute to fat storing. Omega-3s also alter leptin levels, a hormone that helps the metabolism burn calories instead of storing them as fat.

Protein powder is full of amino acids that burn fat. Add 2 tsp. to a fruit- or milk-based bedtime smoothie. Eggs provide an inexpensive source of protein and are loaded with vitamin B12, a nutrient the body needs to metabolize fat.

Milk is a good source of protein, and its high calcium levels provide a fat-burning boost by breaking down fat and possibly preventing it from forming. A study conducted by the University of Tennessee discovered that people consuming between 1,200 and 1,300 mg of calcium per day lost almost twice as much weight as those with lower calcium intake.

Green Tea
Green tea’s reputation as a fat-burning beverage stems from the heavy dose of antioxidants it contains, which speed up the metabolism. Fortunately for bedtime snackers, decaffeinated green teas contain as many antioxidants as caffeinated versions. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that over a 24-hour period, the catechin polyphenols found in green tea increased the metabolic rate by 4 percent.