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Backed By Science: 10 Health-Killing Foods You Shouldn’t Eat At Night

Backed By Science: 10 Health-Killing Foods You Shouldn’t Eat At Night

There’s rarely anything more satisfying than having a late-night snack or meal before bed! I’m guilty of indulging myself! I’m also guilty of indulging in some foods that scientists and health experts argue are the worst food choices to eat at night. The below list describes the top-ten health-killing foods you shouldn’t eat before you go to bed.

1. Cheese

Cheese is fattening and easy to over-eat on. Cheese should be eaten in very strict moderation. Cheese is high in saturated fat and cholesterol,  and too much of it can increase your risk of heart disease.

2. Citrus

Too many fruits can lead to gas at night, and makes digestion more complicated because sugar ferments. If you must eat some fruit before bed, try not to eat more than a cup.

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3. Spicy Food

Spicy or hot foods stimulate your senses, and they have the ability to give heartburn or contribute to an upset stomach, and no one wants that before bed.

4. Fatty Food

Pizza, burgers and French-fries taste great, but they aren’t great to your body, so don’t eat them at night. They can mess up your digestive system and help you pack on the pounds. You’ll feel horrible the next day, zapped of the energy you need to make your day productive.

5.  Red Meats

Red meats are hard to digest. That’s why you shouldn’t eat them at night. It will be harder to fall asleep if you do eat red meat directly before bed.

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6.  Cereals

It is very difficult to follow serving suggestions for cereal, so if you’re watching your weight, it’s best to eat it in the morning but not late at night.

7. Vegetables

I know I threw you off with my suggestion to lay off of fruits and citrus before bed, but you are probably shocked vegetables make the list. Some vegetables are not ideal to eat before bed. Celery, for example, celery is a diuretic. According to this article, a diuretic increases the rate of urination. It’s counter-productive to eat these types of vegetables, because you’ll be waking up more than usual at night to use the restroom instead of getting a good rest.

8. Junk Food

Chips and salsa, popcorn, and all that other comfort food. Let it go. It’s not helping you sleep better, lose weight, or be healthy.

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9. Sweets

Put down that ice cream cone, candy bar, or piece of chocolate, because they are officially off limits before bed! Yes, these things can be considered comfort foods, but these same comfort foods are loaded with fat! Sugar also keeps you up longer! It’s not the type of combination you want while you’re trying to go to bed!

10. Bread

Unless you’re trying to gain weight, eating bread before going to bed is a horrible idea.  The carbs in bread can make you hungrier at night, and cause you to overeat.

Don’t take my word for it, check out this article and see for yourself! Then explore the internet and check out other suggestions.  Many of the things I’ve listed here, are the same things health experts elsewhere will tell you to avoid.

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Some things weren’t listed here because they were obvious or not considered food, but here are some other suggestions: do not drink alcohol before bed, do not drink too much water before bed, and be sure to not drink coffee before bed.  Soda also follows under the do-not-drink directly before bed list. Some experts suggest not eating at all three to four hours before bed.

For a list of suggested healthy night-time snacks, click here.

Your health and well-being matter! Take them into your hands and make better choices for your personal happiness!

Featured photo credit: food via imaginalhealth.com

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Emina Dedic

TEFL Instructor, Traveler, Professional Writer, Model

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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