1. Drink a Casein Protein Shake
One of the best ways to burn fat is by preserving lean muscle mass and building more of it. That’s where the first of our nighttime weight loss hacks comes into play. When you sleep, you go into a fasting state. Some people say this is a good thing as it can allow the digestive system to take a break. But if you’re of the mindset that you want to stay on top of your lean tissue growth and maintenance, a slow-digesting casein protein before bed may be precisely what you’re looking for to stay anabolic and prevent catabolism from sneaking in like the Boogieman while you sleep.
The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you can potentially burn throughout the day since muscle demands energy and needs to recover from workouts. This means a constant boost in metabolic rate — even while sleeping.
What brand should you use? That’s up to you and your personal tastes. I will say this… casein protein does have more of a “chalky” texture to it by nature. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just may be different from what you’re used to with a whey protein shake.
If you want to try a 100% micellar casein that mixes easily and comes in several delicious flavors, try the NutraBio Micellar Casein.
2. Prepare Your Morning Breakfast
If you don’t mind tossing things in the microwave to heat them up, prepare your meal the night before to save time in the morning. One reason why many people skip breakfast in the morning is that they don’t have time to prepare something, sit down to eat it, and then get out the door to make it to work or school in time. Preparing the night before is one of the best nighttime weight loss hacks out there.
One breakfast that is simple to make and ready upon waking are overnight oats. Now, you may want to toss in some more protein with this meal, but overnight oats are simple to prepare (even for those who can’t cook). Simply grab a mason jar, add one part old fashioned oats, one part milk, and then get creative with a little Greek yogurt added in, some chia seeds, and your sweetener of choice. Then, mix it all up, put a lid on it, and toss it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, you can dump in some healthy nuts or even a little protein powder, mix it all up, and enjoy.
Something else to consider is simply getting everything you need out and ready to save time. This can be all the ingredients you need for a protein smoothie in the morning or getting the pans and utensils you need out to make yourself some eggs in the morning.
Regardless of which position you take here, getting breakfast ready the night before is a fantastic plan.
3. Prepare Your Lunch and Healthy Snacks
Just like with number two from our nighttime weight loss hacks, you’re going to want to ensure your lunch and snacks are planned and ready for the next day. Doing this will save you a lot of time in the morning (which is already chaotic) and give you zero excuses to head out for lunch and grab something unhealthy from a fast-food restaurant. Speaking of fast-food, it should go without saying but avoiding all fast-food late at night would slip in easily here as one of our nighttime weight loss hacks.
All that being said, you need to plan ahead. Prepare your meal and snacks and have them ready to toss in your bag or a dedicated lunch bag before you head out the door. Find a balance of a lean protein source along with some healthy carbs and fat. You could even go as far as to combine all those macronutrients into one “dish” by making a healthy salad that includes grilled chicken, greens, and some nuts or seeds.
Having some issues thinking of healthy snacks? This can be something as simple as a protein bar, protein shake, an apple with natural peanut butter, cut-up vegetables like carrots, celery, broccoli, etc., or even a handful of nuts or seeds to munch on between meals along with a cup of Greek yogurt.
4. Check Your Calendar and Schedule Your Workout
It seems so simple, but one of the nighttime weight loss hacks you need to implement is looking at your calendar for the following day. Where can you fit in a workout? Is waking up early to hit a workout your only option if your entire day is filled? Can you hit a workout over your lunch break? Or can you swing by the gym on your way home from work or school?
Just take a peek at your calendar and wherever your workout fits in, put it in your calendar for that time slot. Why is this important? It’s simple. We’ll find reasons why we can’t work out. The day got away from us, we scheduled an extra meeting, we headed out for coffee with a friend, you can put in whatever excuse you find.
Putting your workout in your calendar secures its place in your day and makes it a priority. After all, the things we have in our calendar are priorities, right?
5. Set Out Your Clothes and Pack Your Workout Gear
Again, you can’t lose weight if you aren’t setting yourself up for success. This is an important part of our nighttime weight loss hacks as it prevents more excuses. “Oh, I forgot my workout clothes at home.” Then you completely skip your workout, and the wheels fall off because you get out of your routine, and one missed workout turns into two, and then two turns into an entire week or longer.
Don’t give yourself an out and excuse why you can’t get in your workout. Pack your gym bag the night before and get everything set. This includes things like your accessories, shoes, socks, pants/shorts, a top to wear, a hat, your supplements, whatever you generally take and wear at the gym.
You also want to save time by setting out your work or school clothes for the following day. This goes hand-in-hand with getting your breakfast and lunch planned at night so that everything is ready to go as soon as you wake up, and you don’t even need to think about anything. It’s grab and go.
6. Find a Way to Destress
The last thing to touch on with our nighttime weight loss hacks is finding ways at night to destress. Before you go to bed, try to release any tension you may be carrying from the day. You can do this by reading a book, sitting in a quiet room, listening to music, going for a walk, talking with your spouse, or even meditating.
What most people fail to understand is that stress can cause cortisol levels to rise. When this occurs, it can release a hunger hormone called ghrelin. When ghrelin levels go up, so will your hunger. This can do the complete opposite of what you’re looking for and may cause you to overeat throughout the day.
Additionally, increased stress and cortisol levels can cause the body to store more body fat. Have you ever been under a bunch of stress, and when you look at the number on the scale, it’s gone up? This is a combination of you probably putting yourself in a caloric surplus as well as your body taking the food you consume and storing more of it as body fat.
Combat these issues by finding ways to destress and help better manage your cortisol levels.