Eating cottage cheese before bed could help you lose weight

Pre-bed snack anyone? [Photo: Getty]
Pre-bed snack anyone? [Photo: Getty]

We’ve always been told not to eat cheese before bed for fear of it giving us funky dreams, but new research suggests chowing down on cottage cheese before lights out can help us lose weight.

The findings of the study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, suggest that low calorie foods boost metabolism, muscles and overall wellbeing, even while you’re asleep.

While eating before lights out has typically been thought to increase the risk of developing excess fat around the waistline, that isn’t the case for protein rich foods.

The research revealed that eating just two tablespoons of cottage cheese half an hour before bedtime could improve your health and provide a nutritious substitute to sugar-laden snacks.

For the study, scientists recruited 10 active females in their 20s. The participants were given 30 grams of Cottage cheese 30 to 60 minutes before dozing off, and after eating dinner two hours earlier.

After waking between 5 and 8am participants resting energy expenditure – the amount of energy burned while asleep – was measured. This showed it was just as efficient as when they were given a casein shake to drink before going to bed as when they had the cottage cheese.

Commenting on the findings Professor Michael Ormsbee, from Florida State University said: “These data suggest the metabolic response from whole-food protein do not differ from the metabolic response of liquid protein,” explains Professor Ormsbee.

“While protein supplements absolutely have their place, it is important to begin pooling data for foods and understanding the role they can play in these situations,” adds Samantha Leyh, who was part of the research but is now a research dietitian with the US Air Force.

“Like the additive and synergistic effects of vitamins and minerals when consumed in whole food form such as fruits or veggies, perhaps whole food sources may follow suit.

“While we can’t generalise for all whole foods as we have only utilised cottage cheese, this research will hopefully open the door to future studies doing just that.”

Could eating cottage cheese before bed help you lose weight? [Photo: Getty]
Could eating cottage cheese before bed help you lose weight? [Photo: Getty]

Cottage cheese wasn’t the only cheese that could aid with weight loss, the research team also revealed that other low fat cheeses eaten with raw vegetables also saw similar results as did tinned tuna.

Professor Ormsbee said that following on from the findings, the research team will start examining more pre-bed food options. They hope this will help to inform people on making better food choices for their health and wellbeing. “There is much more to uncover in this area of study,” he said.

The weight loss news comes after it was revealed last month that researchers recommended doctors should put obese patients on a diet of meal replacement shakes and soups to help them lose weight.

The recommendation comes after a study, by Oxford University and published in the British Medical Journal, revealed that “total meal replacement diets”, helped participants shed and keep off more than a stone over a year.

And food switches isn’t the only way to shift the pounds. Back in May we revealed the simple steps we can take to help aid weight loss.

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