The myth that eating before bed puts on weight for many years dictates routines among those who wish to lose weight. However, the truth is that it is not what you eat that makes you fat, but how much you eat (and how much calories you spend). A box of chocolates has the same number of calories at any time of the day!
A 2014 study of obese women showed just that. In the study, which lasted four weeks, thirty (30) minutes before bedtime, each group of volunteers consumed one of the following three different types of nutrients: whey protein (protein), casein (protein) or carbohydrate, all with a caloric value between 140 and 150 calories per serving. The volunteers were also submitted to three weekly physical training sessions composed of two resistance training sessions and one HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session.
At the end of the study, the authors found that, in response to exercise, all volunteers showed improvement in body composition, losing fat and increasing muscle mass. In addition, they also gained strength. That is, the consumption of carbohydrate or protein before bed did not interfere with the benefits from exercise. However, consumption of casein (more than whey protein and carbohydrate) provided more satiety the next morning, both before and after training sessions.
Therefore, we can see that it is not what we eat or when (at what time) we eat that makes us fat, but the amount of calories we eat throughout the day. That is, gaining, losing or maintaining weight depends a lot on the caloric balance.
The fact is that it is very easy not to notice how much calories we are ingesting, especially at night, when we are trying to relax after a long day at work and everyday activities. It is the moment when we tend to look for foods that provide us with more comfort, such as sweets, chocolates, ice cream, cheeses etc., which are more calorie-dense foods.
On the other hand, going back to the study, we cannot fail to appreciate another extremely valuable data from this research, which is the fact that the consumption of casein (protein from the solid part of milk) before bed contributes to an increase in satiety the next morning, which makes this nutrient an excellent ally in weight loss diets.