3 questions to ask yourself if you’re often hungry before bed

hungry before bed

One of the most common ‘rules’ you hear when it comes to losing weight – or maintaining it – is “do not eat after x o’clock.” Sure, there is definitely some truth behind this. After all, eating a large meal before bed can lead to an uncomfortable feeling, acid reflux and digestive issues. But what if you’re regularly hungry before bed? Going to bed when you’re hungry is not exactly a recipe for a good night sleep. So should you eat something or not?

3 questions to ask yourself if you’re often hungry before bed

Below, we’ve listed three questions you should ask yourself if you’re often hungry before bed:

#1. What does your breakfast look like?

While many people have a tendency to skip it, breakfast can really set the tone for the rest of your day. Indeed, it is the most important meal of the day. After all, breakfast is what activates your digestive system. If you wait (too) long before having your first meal, chances are you’re hungrier later on – which can also result in you getting hungry before bed. Are you not used to having breakfast? Or do you find it difficult to get something in your stomach that early in the day? Try experimenting with having a bowl of yogurt, a banana or a smoothie for breakfast, and see how you feel afterwards.

#2. What do you eat in the course of the day?

When you notice that you’re often getting hungry before bed, this can simply be because your body is trying to tell you that it didn’t get enough nutrients or energy that day. This is most likely the case when you’re skipping meals or are not eating enough. At any given day, you need at least three complete meals. A complete meal means that it needs to contain a combination of the three macro nutrients: carbohydrates (including fibres), proteins and healthy fats. Aside from that, you can make these meals as simple or complicated as you wish. Depending on what your day looks like (or how much energy you need) you can add some snacks between those meals.

#3. Are you actually hungry, or just craving something specific?

Have you gone through the first two questions and determined that despite the fact that there is nothing wrong with your eating habits, you still regularly experience hunger before bedtime? Then ask yourself this: Am I really hungry or am I just craving something? Personally, I can get through a whole day without any cravings, but I always crave chocolate after dinner – and I don’t think I’m the only one! In this case, it’s better to just give in to your craving and have that piece of chocolate, instead of trying to eat something else that will not remove that craving for chocolate anyway. I know we should enjoy chocolate while we still can, so yes, I have a little piece every day (sometimes a big one). On the other hand, you could actually be hungry. Maybe you have been more active than usual that day, meaning you burned more calories and therefore need to eat a bit more. You should also consider the possibility that you’re in the so-called luteal phase of your menstrual cycle. During this phase, which occurs in the days before your period starts, your body burns more calories than it usually would – yes, even when you’re not active. This is why many women do not only experience pms symptoms before they start shark week, but also a need for more food and more sleep. In that case, it is perfectly fine to have something to eat, as long as you give your body at least an hour (preferably two) to digest it before hitting the hay.

Final thoughts

If you’re often hungry before bed, this usually means you’re either not eating enough during the day, or you’re not eating complete meals and missing out on important nutrients. Or you’re just craving something (and it’s totally okay to give in to that – with control, of course). That said, you should never go to bed hungry – you’ll only end up waking up cranky.

Muscle loss can already start in your thirties – but it is possible to prevent it

muscle loss

Depending on your age, you may have noticed that certain physical activities that used to feel so easy now require more effort. The reason for this might be related to something called sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss. According to a recent study by Harvard Health, sarcopenia can already start around age 35. Generally, this form of muscle atrophy occurs at a rate of 1 to 2 percent per year. Once you’ve entered your sixties, the process will most likely accelerate to around 3 percent per year. Does this sound scary to you? Don’t worry – there are ways to significantly slow down the process.

How do people lose muscle mass?

You already know that when you stop training, it is a matter of time before you start losing muscle mass. For most of us #fitgirls, working out is relatively easy when we’re in our twenties: we’re young, fit and motivated and we can always manage to squeeze in a workout, even when we’re busy. And then at some point, life will get in the way. You may start a demanding full-time job, have a baby, get injured or sick. Or maybe it is a simple shift in priorities that cause you to train less frequently than before – or quit altogether. Decreased activity or training will inevitably lead to muscle loss. This is the most common reason that people tend to get less fit as they get older. However, if you do manage to maintain the same level of activity, a decrease in the size and/or number of muscle fibers may also be caused by not getting in enough protein and amino acids. You could train just as frequently as before, but if your diet is not as balanced, chances are you will still start to lose muscle mass (read up on the importance of getting your protein, if you’re not convinced).

What can you do to prevent muscle loss?

Looking at the causes of age-related muscle loss, the solution is fairly simple: keep training and watch your diet. If you want to get a head start on prevention, it is recommended to do weight training at least 3 times a week, ensuring that you target a different muscle group each day. In other words, instead of doing a full body workout 3 times a week, you could for example target your legs and glutes on day 1, your core and back on day 2 and your shoulders and arms on day 3. And no, you don’t necessarily need to go to the gym to have an effective workout. In fact, body weight exercises are perfect to prevent muscle loss. Push-ups are super effective (this is how to make your push-ups more effective), just like sit-ups, squats, lunges and planks. And you don’t need any equipment to do them. And if you still want to turn it up a notch, you can always add dumbbells to your exercises.

Final thoughts

It is very normal for our priorities to shift as we get older. And while you may reach a point where you couldn’t care less about how much muscle mass you have, it is still important to try and slow down the process of age-related muscle loss. Losing muscle mass hinders your ability to recover from injuries and illnesses. Aside from that, it can also attribute to other health-related issues. And your health should always be your top priority, regardless of your muscle mass.