The eternal debate: should you snack at night?
Many weight-conscious folks have heard the age-old advice that late-night snacking is a big no-no.
But let’s face it: when those midnight cravings strike, resisting the allure of the kitchen can feel like an Olympic feat.
In fact, for many of us, the toughest time to stick to a healthy eating plan is at night. That’s when our willpower seems to be at its lowest after a day of making all the right food choices.
Now, here’s the not-so-great news: When you give in to those late-night temptations, your body might be more inclined to store those extra calories as fat.
Plus, late-night overeating can seriously mess with your sleep, leaving you tossing and turning all night and setting you up for a day of grogginess and potential binge-eating.
So, what’s the verdict on late-night snacking? It’s a bit of a mixed bag. While it’s best to avoid mindless munching in the wee hours, sometimes a small, sensible snack can actually help you sleep better.
When those late-night cravings strike, I suggest reaching for one of the following delightful and weight-loss-friendly snacks. These tasty bedtime treats are packed with nutrients, low in calories, and will help quell your cravings without derailing your weight loss journey.
1. Hard Boiled Eggs
Eggs are undeniably a nutritional powerhouse. They are, in fact, the ultimate snack to combat those midnight cravings.
Packed with ample protein and healthy fats, eggs can keep you feeling full for extended periods.
What’s even better is that a single hard-boiled egg contains just a little over 80 calories, making it a guilt-free option for snacking at any hour.
But here’s the real kicker – eggs are a fantastic source of tryptophan, an amino acid known for its natural sedative properties.
To enjoy this snack, simply boil two to three eggs for a minimum of 15 minutes, let them cool, peel them, and enjoy with a small slice of whole grain or flax bread. It’s a satisfying and sleep-friendly option.
2. Whole Grain Toast With Ham
Creating a light sandwich can be a guilt-free option to satisfy those post-dinner cravings, provided you choose the right ingredients.
In my view, one of the best late-night sandwiches is whole grain toast with ham.
This snack is not only filling enough to ward off midnight hunger but also relatively low in calories, typically around 120 calories, depending on the portion size. Additionally, it provides a solid 10 to 15 grams of protein.
Whole grain foods, including whole grain toast, are known for their slow digestion, which means they keep you feeling satiated for longer periods. They also offer a good dose of magnesium.
On the other hand, ham is a fantastic source of lean protein, Vitamin B, iron, magnesium, zinc, and more.
3. Avocado with Cottage Cheese
If you’re in the mood for something creamy, rich, or slightly savory, avocado with cottage cheese is a fantastic choice.
This delightful combination of fruit and dairy offers approximately 200 calories, including about 10 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. No empty calories here.
Avocado provides a significant amount of fiber and high-quality fatty acids that can help control your appetite.
These fatty acids, known as polyunsaturated fats, are beneficial for your cardiovascular health and can increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
Cottage cheese, on the other hand, is a natural protein source that’s filling without being calorie-heavy.
As you may know, research has shown that increasing your protein intake can support weight loss efforts.
Additionally, cottage cheese contains the essential amino acid tryptophan, which plays a role in calming the nervous system and promoting better sleep.
4. Greek Yogurt with Cherries
If you’re hankering for something reminiscent of ice cream, give this Greek yogurt and fruit combo a try. Greek yogurt, especially in unsweetened varieties, makes for an excellent late-night snack.
It offers a creamy texture similar to ice cream but without the excess sugar, making it a smart choice for managing your calorie intake. Plus, it’s a good source of protein.
Research published in the American Journal of Physiology suggests that consuming protein just before bedtime can stimulate overnight protein synthesis, aiding in the repair of damaged muscle tissue.
Berries, including cherries, are not only low in calories but also incredibly nutritious. Cherries, in particular, are rich in antioxidants, which can help combat inflammation and support weight loss.
What’s more, these little red gems can satisfy those late-night hunger pangs and improve your sleep thanks to melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that subjects who consumed tart cherry juice reported improved sleep quality. So, Greek yogurt with cherries isn’t just a delicious snack; it may also help you get a better night’s rest.
5. Apple Slices with Peanut Butter
If you’re looking for a straightforward and satisfying snack, try this quick combination of apple slices and natural peanut butter.
Simply slice a medium apple and add one or two tablespoons of natural peanut butter on top.
Beyond providing a satisfying crunch, a medium-sized apple contains approximately five grams of dietary fiber. This fiber not only helps keep you feeling full but also promotes digestive health.
Furthermore, a two-tablespoon serving of smooth peanut butter is rich in protein, which can help curb your appetite without causing a heavy feeling in your stomach. It also contributes to your overall fiber intake.
To make this snack as healthy as possible, be sure to choose natural peanut butter that doesn’t contain palm oil, sugars, or other artificial additives.
6. Almonds With Cottage Cheese
If you’re craving something savory in the late hours, consider reaching for almonds.
Almonds make for an ideal late-night snack because they are rich in proteins and healthy fats, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and contribute to overall fitness and health.
What’s more, almonds are slowly digested, which means they will keep you feeling fuller for an extended period. They are also a good source of magnesium, known for its muscle-relaxing properties and its potential to aid in sleep.
However, it’s essential to exercise moderation when enjoying almonds because they are a high-calorie food. A small serving goes a long way.
On the other hand, cottage cheese is a dairy product that’s particularly high in casein protein—a slow-releasing protein that can help you stay satisfied throughout the night while promoting muscle recovery.
Just be mindful of the type of cheese you choose. Options like mozzarella, feta, parmesan, provolone, and goat cheese are among the better choices.
For a touch of natural sweetness, consider adding a few fresh berries to your cottage cheese and almonds for a balanced and satisfying late-night snack.
So, which of the above bedtime bites is your favorite?
Please share with us your opinions and comments below!
Thank you for reading my post.