How do you lose weight when your late night cravings keep wrecking your healthy routine? The key is finding the right food to snack on at any time of the day, instead of forbidding yourself from stepping into the kitchen right after dinner. The gap between dinner and sleep time is really long, so snacking is important to prevent you from going to bed cranky and famished and to promote a night of comfortable sleep. So here are some of the best nighttime snacks that won’t undermine your weight loss progress!
1. Home Popped Popcorn with Honey
Forget the pre-made popcorn that is filled with fat and added sugar and instead choose the healthy alternative by going with homemade popcorn coated with honey. Popcorn contains serotonin, which is a hormone that helps you relax right before you drift away to dreamland, and it is considered to be a complex carb, which allows you to naturally curb your cravings. It also contains fiber and helps satisfy your hunger despite that fact that it’s light and low in calories. Plus this is a snack that will last you longer than a couple of seconds!
2. Medium Apple with a Few Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
Apple slices and peanut butter are the perfect snack for any time of the day. For one, apples have a lot of fiber and the peanut butter contains a good amount of protein that will fill you up. And if you are not a fan of both, you can substitute the fruit with bananas that are rich in potassium and tryptophan, and the peanut butter with any other type of nut butter, such as almond butter.
3. Greek Yogurt with Berries and Seeds
Greek yogurt is a delicious and nutritious guilt-free nighttime snack that contains calcium that will promote a good night's sleep. Add a few berries and other fruit, top it all off with chia seeds or nuts of your own liking and there it is, a quick snack that won’t add on to your love handles!
4. Small Serving of Oatmeal with Mashed Banana
Oatmeal is usually a breakfast food but hey, who says you can’t enjoy it during the night? It’s healthy, light and easy to make. Just mash in banana for extra flavor and add nuts, fruits and seeds for extra texture. Just make sure to watch your portions so that it doesn’t become another meal instead of a snack.
5. Raw Vegetables with Hummus
You can never go wrong with vegetables and hummus as a snack. It’s a great way to get your daily dose of veggies if your diet is lacking them otherwise and to fuel your body with super-nutritious foods with lots of crunch. Carrots, cucumbers, celery, you name it; they all make a great combination with hummus, which is rich in vitamin B6.
6. A Handful of Unsalted Nuts
Purchase a container of mixed nuts and keep it in your kitchen cabinet, as nuts are a perfect way to keep hunger at bay! Unsalted nuts contain a lot of protein and therefore can easily satisfy your urge for a crunchy snack. Just a handful is enough to help you fall asleep feeling satisfied.
7. Tuna with Whole-wheat Crackers
For those of you searching for something more substantial right before sleep, tuna and crackers are the way to go. This snack is rich in fiber and complex carbs but light on your stomach at the same time, meaning you won’t wake up feeling bloated! Whole-wheat crackers have much fewer calories than regular bread but still require a set limit of intake to avoid weight gain.
Remember, eating at night doesn’t mean that you’ll wake up ten pounds heavier the next day! It all comes down to the choices you make, so as long as you control your portion sizes and gravitate toward healthy alternatives, snack away!