Many weight-conscious dieters believe that one must not snack, especially at night.
That said, when those late night cravings strike, staying out of the kitchen is no easy feat.
In fact, often than not, the most challenging time of the day to stick to a healthy eating plan is at night.
This is when your willpower is at its lowest after making all the right healthy decisions throughout the day.
Here is the bad news:
When you indulge before bed, your body is likely to store those extra calories as fat.
Late night overeating can also interfere with your sleep, making you more restless at night and setting you up for binging and fatigue the next day.
6 Healthy Snacks to Help You Tame Late Night Cravings
As I always say, calories are not created equal.
And to be honest, late night snacking is not inherently a bad decision—as long as you’re consuming the right nutrients in moderation.
In other words, you just need to snack right.
When late-night cravings hit, I recommend having one the following yummy, yet weight loss friendly, snack.
These delicious bedtime snacks are nutritious, low in calories, and will help satisfy your cravings without compromising your weight loss efforts.
1. Hard Boiled Eggs
Eggs are a nutrition powerhouse, period.
In fact, they’re the perfect snack for fending off midnight cravings
Scoring high in proteins and healthy fats, eggs can keep you satisfied for the longest. Plus, with a little over 80 calories each, a hard-boiled egg is a guilt-free food item you can snack on anytime
What’s more? Eggs are an ideal source of tryptophan, which is an amino acid that acts as a natural sedative.
Boil two to three eggs for at least 15 minutes. Then let them cool, de-shell, then eat them with a small slice of whole grain or flax bread.
2. Whole Grain Toast With Ham
Making yourself a light sandwich is another guilt-free snack option for post-dinner cravings—as long as you’re opting for the right ingredients.
And in my opinion, one of the best sandwiches to munch on before bed is whole grain toast with ham.
This snack is nutritious enough to stop late-night hunger pangs, but only sets you back around 120 calories—depending on the size of the snack, of course. It also packs in about 10 to 15 grams of protein.
Whole grain foods, just like other complex carbs, are digested slowly, so they’ll leave you feeling full for longer. They’re also rich in magnesium.
On the other hand, ham is a great source of lean protein, Vitamin B, iron, magnesium, zinc, etc.
Here is the little caveat though.
Make sure to go for lean ham, opting for varieties that are low in sodium. Some brands of deli meats also offer nitrate-free varieties.
3. Avocado with Cottage Cheese
If you’re craving something creamy, rich, or a bit savory, avocado with cottage cheese is the best next thing.
This delicious fruit and dairy combo pack in roughly 200 calories, mainly 10 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. No junk calories.
The avocado provides quite a bit of fiber and high-quality fatty acids that will help curb your appetite.
The fatty acids are known as polyunsaturated fats. These increase good cholesterol levels (HDL) and are good for your cardiovascular system.
Moreover, cottage cheese is a good source of natural protein that fills you up without a lot of calories. And as you already know, research has shown that a higher protein intake aids in weight loss.
What’s more, cottage cheese is a good source of the essential amino acid tryptophan—key for calming the nervous system and promoting sleep.
How to make the snack?
Simple. Just get rid of the bit from one half of an avocado and fill the space with cottage cheese.
4. Greek Yogurt with Cherries
Craving ice cream? Then try this Greek yogurt and fruit combo.
Greek yogurt (in unsweetened varieties) is an ideal late night snack because it’s low in sugar, and can satisfy those creamy cravings you get from your typical ice cream but without messing up with your calorie intake.
It’s also a good source of protein.
According to research in the American Journal of Physiology, consuming protein right before going to bed stimulates overnight protein synthesis, which helps rebuild damaged muscle tissue.
While, on the other hand, berries (in most varieties) are super healthy as they’re low in calories but super nutritious.
Cherries are also a great source of anti-oxidants, which can help fight inflammation and weight loss.
Not only these little red treasures will help satisfy post-dinner hunger pangs, but also improve sleep thanks to melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone.
Subjects who drank tart cherry juice reported better sleep quality, according to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
5. Apple Slices with Peanut Butter
This is a simple snack that can be quickly assembled by slicing a medium apple and topping it with one or two tablespoons of natural peanut butter.
Beside providing with a satisfying crunch, a medium size apple contains about five grams of dietary fiber, which keeps you full and improves digestive health.
Moreover, a 2-tablespoon serving of smooth peanut butter is loaded with protein, which fills you up without feeling heavy in your stomach. It also adds to the fiber intake.
Just make sure to opt for natural peanut butter, avoiding any palm oil, sugars, or other artificial additives.
6. Almonds with Cottage Cheese
If you’re longing for something salty, go for almonds.
Almonds are the ideal late-night snack because they score high in proteins and the good fats, which help regulate blood sugar levels, and promote overall fitness and health levels.
Almonds are also digested slowly, so you’ll feel fuller for longer.
They are also rich in magnesium, which relaxes the muscles and aids in sleep.
What’s more, almonds are salty and crunchy, and there is no prep needed.
Just be mindful not to overindulge since almonds are also a very high-calorie food.
On the other hand, cottage cheese is a dairy product that scores high in casein protein, a slow-releasing protein that can keep you satisfied overnight while speeding up recovery.
Just make sure to consume the right types of cheese. Some of the best brands include mozzarella, feta, parmesan, provolone, and goat cheese.
For a burst of natural sweetness, consider adding a few fresh berries to the mix.
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.