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.

Want to prevent running-related knee injuries? Train your glutes!

running-related knee injuries, Knieblessures bij het hardlopen voorkomen

Knee injuries are one of the most common injuries that runners are confronted with. That’s not surprising – if you’re a runner, then you know how impact much your knees have to endure every time you go for a run. However, there is something you can do to prevent running-related knee injuries (aside from getting proper running shoes). You have to train your glutes!

How can training my glutes prevent running-related knee injuries?

Strength training is very important for runners. When you’re strengthening your muscles, you make it easier for yourself to run and with a correct posture. For running, some muscle groups are more important than others. While many people assume that their legs do most of the work, research proves that strengthening your glutes can actually help to prevent running-related knee injuries.

Did you know that tight hips and/or glutes are the main causes of knee pain? This particularly applies to runners, who often suffer from tight glutes due to inadequate warm-ups, not enough stretching, bad running shoes and running on uneven or unstable surfaces. Runners usually have very well-developed quads and hamstrings, but their glutes – especially their glute medius – are weak. The glute medius, however, is the stabilizer of the pelvis. In other words: by training your glutes you stabilize your hips, and therefore reduce the risk of running-related knee injuries.

What is the best way to train my glutes for running?

While compound exercises like squats can definitely help to strengthen glutes, we’d recommend runners to focus on glute isolation exercises. This is because with runners, their quads are usually much better developed than their glutes. So when you do compound exercises, your stronger quads will automatically ‘take over the load’ – resulting in your glutes still not really doing much. By doing glute isolation exercises, where you’re focussing on one specific muscle group, you basically force your glutes to wake up and get to work. And as they get stronger, the chances of getting running-related knee injuries will decrease significantly.

Why and how to do Russian push-ups

Russian push-ups

Every girl can do a perfect push-up! And once you’ve got the hang of it, you’re probably going to start looking for ways to make your push-ups more effective. One way to do this is by doing Russian push-ups. A single Russian push-up is pretty much a full workout for your arms, your shoulders and your core, so I’d definitely recommend you to give it a try.

What is a Russian push-up, exactly?

Glad you asked! The Russian push-up is a push-up variation that combines a standard push-up with a forearm plank. While both of these moves are relatively easy to perform individually, the Russian push-up integrates both in a sequence where you’re seamlessly moving back and forth between the two. This allows you to train to have more control over your own body weight. While this exercise definitely strengthens your arms and shoulders, the transition from the forearm plank also requires you so activate your core muscles. Provided you do it correctly, of course.

How do you perform Russian push-ups?

Before you start with Russian push-ups, it is recommended that you are able to perform regular push-ups correctly. If you’re not there yet, please see our beginner’s guide to doing push-ups. Are regular push-ups not a problem for you and are you up for a challenge? Below, we’ve explained how to perform Russian push-ups.

Step 1: Start in a traditional plank position. Ensure that your arms are straight and that your shoulders are directly above your wrists.

Step 2: Once you’re ready, lower yourself down until your chest is hovering about an inch above the floor.

Step 3: Shift your body backwards into a forearm plank.

Step 4: Immediately shift back into a low push-up position.

Step 5: Push yourself up to a high plank.


If you’re still a bit fuzzy on how to do it, check out this YouTube video.

Final thoughts

Russian push-ups offer excellent cardiovascular benefits and are a fantastic addition to your fitness routine. While it may take some time before you are able to do several reps in a row, they are significantly more effective than regular push-ups and planks performed separately. It is a great way to challenge yourself and to squeeze in a more complete workout when you’re short on time.

How to actually get better at sit-ups

goed in buikspieroefeningen, better at sit-ups

A lot of people absolutely hate doing sit-ups. Most of them feel that they’re not really getting better at it. And when you’re not seeing results, that can be pretty discouraging. If you’re also having trouble pushing yourself to do those dreaded core exercises, chances are you’re not doing them properly, not frequently enough, or both. Because trust us – when they’re executed correctly, sit-ups are very, very effective. Not just for getting tight abs, but also for improving your posture and reducing any problems in your neck, shoulders and back. With a strong core, everything becomes easier! Read on to find out how you can actually get better at sit-ups.

How to get better at sit-ups

#1. Don’t stick to just one single sit-up variation

Your core consists of the muscles in your lower back plus multiple abdominal muscles. There’s the musculus rectus abdominis (your ‘straight abs’), the musculus transversus abdominis (the deepest ab muscle), the external obliques and the internal obliques. Most core exercises only work either the top, middle or lower part of the straight abs, or focus primarily on the obliques. So if you want a strong core, it’s essential to do multiple sit-up variations. If you only ever do one or two different variations, you could end up with for example having your upper straight abs very strong but very underdeveloped lower abs. That’s right, you need to work them all!

#2. Ensure you’re practicing proper form

You can do one hundred sit-ups a day, but if you have a bad form it will take a lot of time to see or feel any progress. Moreover, bad form is a recipe for injuries. So make sure you have the basics right first! Okay, but how do you execute a sit-up with proper form? Well, that depends on the variation you want to do. A personal trainer or coach at your local gym can show you how do to each variation with proper form. If that’s not an option for you, check out some YouTube video’s such as this one about the right way to do a crunch.

#3. Be slow and in control

If you’re a gym bunny, you’re probably familiar with the type of guy that goes through his crunches as if he has to finish them all within a specific timeframe. Please do not take an example from them; this is NOT the most effective way to do sit-ups! Instead, try to perform each movement slowly and with as much control as possible, while also keeping your form in check. If you have a tendency of letting your thoughts wander, you may require a bit more focus while you’re going through the movements. It also helps to move with the breath. Try holding the final position of each sit-up for a second, before returning to your starting position.  

#4. Give your body a chance to recover

While it’s important to have consistency in your training, recovery days are just as important when you want to get better at sit-ups. While you’re working your core you’re essentially causing micro-tears in your muscles. Each time those micro-tears are repaired, your abs become a little bit stronger. This means you need to give them the time to recover; at least one recovery day each week. Also make sure you’re getting enough sleep. And don’t forget a healthy diet with plenty of protein. There’s a reason that people say abs are made in the kitchen!

Bonus tip: Get killer abs with these exercises!

Tips to help you stay committed to an exercise routine

stay committed

Exercise routines are often the basis of a new year’s resolution. However, after a certain period many people find themselves giving up and abandoning their efforts.

Do not give up. When it comes to exercise, devoting yourself to real change may be easier than you think. All you need is the mentality and a good set of principles to help you see yourself through. 

How should you approach an exercise routine? What types of things should you be thinking about on your journey? Where can your sense of commitment come from? There are many questions to ask of yourself here. You will find answers to all of them and more down below to stay committed to your exercise routine!

Set minimum expectations to stay committed

If you are embarking on an exercise regime, it is best to start with an accurate understanding of what is expected of you at a minimum. You can then organize other aspects of your life around those parameters and pace your workouts accordingly.

In the throes of the pandemic, The World Health Organization published recommendations that adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity weekly. This minimum threshold may be much less than what you were expecting, and frankly, there are very few people who would be hard-pressed to meet that quota. 

If you can push yourself further and harder, then do so. However, starting small and slow is also valid, with almost any level of physical activity being good for hearts, bodies, and minds. You can perform basic stretches at home, go for a walk to your local park, or test your limits in a gym. The important thing is to do something at least.  

If necessary, lower your expectations of yourself – you do not need to become a hardened athlete to excel here.

Think on the Future

You likely had clear goals at the beginning of your exercise routine. Try to get back in touch with those objectives.

Are you getting healthier for yourself or another person? Do you want to look good or sleep better? Does exercise help you destress and maintain your mental wellbeing? Remember, there is an onslaught of reasons for how and why an exercise routine can better your life. When your motivation is low, you can lose sight of them, so reinforce them whenever your level of commitment is compromised.

Write down your reasonings, set alarms on your phone, or even confer with loved ones if you need a boost in enthusiasm. You could even put up chalkboards in your home and draw data that correlates to your progress, schedule, or targets. Visual and audible reminders of your exercise routine may give you an extra push overtly or subconsciously. Keep your sense of purpose alive however you can. 

Recall history

It is easy to perceive working out as something relatively mundane or even inconsequential. However, to others, the ability to get some exercise meant a great deal.

For instance, in the late 1800s, the bicycle gave women a voice and changed American society by championing women’s suffrage. The history of women and cycling is something to marvel at, empowering them as creative problem solvers and to act in their best interests. Learning or reminding yourself of these facts can inspire and invigorate you to press on.

It might be that women’s cycling history could reframe your approach to using your bicycle as well. Perhaps you could ride in their honor or use their plights to afford you some perspective. If they can ride bikes for such dire purposes, why can’t you ride yours for ten-minute exercises? Recognize your equipment as instruments of inspiration and liberation that you are fortunate enough to use. After that, you may imbue your routine with more poignant energy.

Involve others to your exercise routine

While historical events can empower you, you can also find inspiration from the people before you also. If you exercise with others, you may be able to view your fitness goals in a brand-new light.

For instance, perhaps your fitness routine can double as quality time with your loved ones? After all, kids have desperately needed more exercise in recent times, so involving any children of your own could be prudent. You should seize any opportunity to spend more time with your family, especially if you have a hectic schedule already, so why not involve them to some degree? Check also our other blog about fun couple workouts.

You can look beyond your family also. It might be that some of your friends would be willing to join you in your efforts. Make it clear that others can exercise alongside you, and you can monitor each other’s progress, encourage one another, or kill time together and bond. You may be inclined to up your game slightly if it comes to leaving a good impression on those around you, too. Exercising together can benefit your relationships with other people post-exercise also. After all, you are finding common ground and creating conversational topics to address in future. Social stimulation can be a good motivator for almost anything, so tap into that wherever possible when it comes to your exercise.