Binging on Netflix always calls for late night snacks. When it’s 12 am and you’re watching your favorite characters eat delicious food on screen, it’s natural to start feeling hungry. Many of us, however, don’t want to eat anything that late in the evening for fear of weight gain.
There are studies out there that say eating too close to bedtime will affect digestion and sleep negatively, however, it all depends on how much you eat and what you eat. The myth behind weight gain and late night snacks is simply just a myth, provided you choose a healthier alternative than a plate of French fries.
Going to bed is always harder when you have a growling tummy, but you don’t want to over-indulge in snacks that will cause bloating. Avoid greasy and heavy snacks, and instead go for veggies, fruits, or low-fat protein foods.
5 Late Night Approved Snacks
When you’re looking for late night snacks, 200 is the magic number. If your snack is under or just about 200 calories, you’re in the clear. Here are five snacks that are not only low on calorie count but equally delicious to have:
1. Apples and Peanut Butter
Yes, you read that right; it’s OK to have peanut butter as long as you stop at 1 tablespoon. Apples are high-fiber fruits while peanut butter is high in protein and will satiate you. Any type of peanut butter works, as long as it is natural with no chemical ingredients.
Optional: You can switch out peanut butter for almond butter.
High in potassium and fiber, bananas are a great late night snack to consider. One banana has approximately 100 calories and promotes a good night’s sleep. Bananas are great for satisfying your late night cravings, as they keep you feeling full for a long period of time.
Even better, bananas leave no dishes behind to clean and can be enjoyed in bed if you have a trash can nearby.
There is a reason why you eat popcorn at the movies. It’s delicious and fills you up without any guilt. Coming in under 100 calories, you can enjoy 3 cups of this yummy snack that will leave you feeling full for a longer period of time.
Popcorn kernels should be natural and, when popped, should not be doused in butter or salt. This late night snack is healthy on its own and still tastes just as good.
4. Dark Chocolate
The antioxidant properties control insulin sensitivity, prevent harmful diseases and kickstart your metabolism. The best dark chocolate to have should be high in cocoa content and free of any chemical ingredients.
Your body takes about 20 minutes to realize that it’s full. If you’re a fast eater, you end up consuming much more than your body needs within those 20 minutes as your body doesn’t get the proper time to register your food intake.
Pistachios are a fun way to slow down how much you consume because, in order to eat them, you need to remove the shell first. Pistachios are rich in nutrients like vitamin B and contain fiber, making it a healthy snack to eat.
Don’t Make Late Night Snacking a Habit
Although these late night snacks are healthy alternatives, try not to make late night snacking a habit. Sometimes, hunger might be mistaken for thirst or stress. Make sure you get enough water and sleep to promote healthy body functions.
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Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN. (2017, October 03). Healthy Late-Night Snacks. Retrieved March 15, 2018, from https://www.livestrong.com/article/412906-healthy-late-night-snacks/
The 8 Best Bedtime Snacks for Weight Loss. (2018, January 18). Retrieved March 15, 2018, from https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/healthy-bedtime-snacks