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Question
My brother has lost weight by drinking a protein shake before bed and eating every few hours. The idea is that when the body gets food consistently, the metabolism speeds up. What are some supplements or powders that I can take before bed that will take a long time to digest (preferably 8 hours), so that I'm not fasting all night?

Answer
Hi, losing weight is about taking in fewer calories.  Eating throughout the day will regulate your glucose levels but not speed up your metabolism. There are foods that take longer to digest and will leave you feeling full longer (fiber and protein). I personally do not advocate the use of supplements or powders. There are no standards for regulating the contents or evidence for using them.  I believe that you can get all of the nutrients that your body needs by eating whole foods.  I would like to know why you feel that you need to eat right before you go to bed. Unless you are an insulin dependent diabetic your blood glucose will regulate on its own.  There is no evidence that this tactic (eating right before sleep) will help you lose weight.  My advice would be to eat a well balanced meal for dinner and perhaps a piece of fruit a few hours after that if you are still hungry. Your body is hard at work during the sleep cycle repairing itself. Unless you have a medical condition there is no reason to fill yourself before you go to bed.  

I hope this answers your question and I wish you good health.  

Nutrition & Dieting

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Stacy Ostrager, M.A.,M.S.

Expertise

I am qualified to answer your questions on nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, disease management,obesity and obesity related issues. I am experienced with nutrition aspect of managing the following: Celiac disease, lactose intolerance, pregnancy, allergies, IBS, diabetes, heart disease, fitness, wellness, healthy cooking, and many more.

Experience

Over 20 years in premier hospitals, consulting and private counseling practice for nutrition.

Organizations
New York State Dietetic Association, Long Island Dietetic Association, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Center for Science of Public Interest

Education/Credentials
Masters of Healthcare Administration from Hofstra University (Hempstead, N.Y.) 1999 Masters of Science in Nutrition from Eastern Michigan University (Ypslanti, M.I.) 2012 Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration from Ithaca College (Ithaca, N.Y) 1994

Past/Present Clients
NYU Medical Center, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

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