Updated 8 April 2023
We all know that late night snacks can undermine your weight loss efforts, but going to bed hungry isn’t a good solution either. So next time you have a late night food craving reach for one of these healthy snacks instead of some junk food and fill your belly guilt free.
Best Snacks For Late At Night
1. Greek yoghurt
Regular yoghurt isn’t particularly good for you and flavoured yoghurt is often packed full of sugar but plain Greek yoghurt is low on calories, low on sugar and full of protein. Add a little bit of fruit to make this snack more delicious.
2. Dark chocolate
The darker, the better. And the great thing about chocolate is that you can wean yourself off milk chocolate by starting with just 15 percent dark.
3. Frozen blueberries
Fresh is always best, but frozen berries are fantastic for convenience but beyond that, blueberries are also very healthy for you. Also, you might not want them to be too frozen—you can really hurt your teeth on frozen food—but after a few minutes of thaw these will be absolutely delicious. A cup full will fill you up with tons of nutrients.
Thanks to their high concentration of magnesium and potassium bananas are actually excellent muscle relaxers. They’re also loaded up with carbs which will help you stay full on less and even be sleepier.
Now let’s be clear: the popcorn you get at the movie theatre or in a microwavable bag is not what you want to be eating. That popcorn is loaded down with butter and we all know about the negative impact of eating a lot of butter.
Instead, you should opt for air-popped popcorn (an air popper is quite affordable and you can get one small enough to be easily stashed) and season it with garlic salt, chili pepper flakes or Parmesan cheese. You can try any seasoning you want—popcorn takes well to almost anything.
Hummus is a great source of protein. If you’re craving something crunchy try dipping carrots or celery into the hummus.
Avocado really is a miraculous fruit, full of healthy fats, protein, potassium and an incredible amount of vitamins. Try eating a few slices of avocado or scoops of guacamole with some whole wheat crackers to really fill up.
8. Cheese and crackers
Whole wheat crackers with thin slices of cheese will give you a big nutrition boost and taste delicious to boot. You can also choose low fat cheese instead of regular cheese if you’re trying to lose weight quickly.
Now it’s great to now what type of snacks to go for later at night, but let’s dig a little deeper into the topic of snacking and how best to control your calorie intake.
The Science behind Late-Night Snacking:
Eating late at night may actually affect metabolism, hormone balance, and sleep quality, potentially contributing to weight gain. Understanding these effects can help us make smarter choices when hunger strikes after dark. It always pays to think – “do I really need this snack?”… if the answer is not a resounding yes, it’s probably best to avoid.
The Importance of Portion Control:
Be mindful of portion sizes, even with healthy snacks. To avoid overeating, serve snacks in small bowls or plates, and refrain from eating straight from the package.
Hydration and Snacking:
Drinking water or herbal tea can help curb late-night hunger pangs. Staying hydrated not only supports overall health but also aids in maintaining a healthy weight. Next time you go for a snack, have a big glass of water first and then wait 15 minutes.
Mindful Eating Practices:
Adopt mindful eating techniques such as eating slowly, savouring flavours, and paying attention to hunger cues. These practices can help prevent overeating and emotional eating at night.
Being more mindful with snacking begins with developing awareness around your eating habits and the reasons behind them. Start by identifying your hunger cues – are you genuinely hungry or are you eating out of boredom, stress, or habit? When you feel the urge to snack, take a moment to pause and assess your needs before reaching for food.
Once you’ve determined you’re truly hungry, choose a nutritious snack that will satisfy your cravings and nourish your body (like those mentioned above). As you eat, pay attention to the tastes, textures, and aromas of your snack. Eat slowly and savour each bite, allowing yourself to fully experience the pleasure of eating.
Portion control is another crucial aspect of mindful snacking. Measure out a reasonable serving size and avoid eating directly from the package to prevent overconsumption. Consider using smaller plates or bowls to visually reinforce appropriate portions.
Engage in distraction-free eating by turning off screens and devices during snack time. This will allow you to focus on the act of eating, making it easier to recognize when you’re satisfied. Listen to your body’s signals and stop eating when you feel full, even if there’s still food left on your plate.
Lastly, create a positive eating environment by sitting down at a table, using proper utensils, and taking the time to enjoy your snack. By cultivating mindfulness around snacking, you can foster healthier eating habits, prevent overeating, and better appreciate the food you consume.
Protein-Rich Food Options:
Consuming protein-rich snacks like cottage cheese or hard-boiled eggs can help keep you fuller for longer, reducing the likelihood of late-night binge eating in the first place.
Planning and Preparation:
Prepare healthy snacks in advance to resist temptation when hunger strikes at night. Having nutritious options readily available can make it easier to choose wisely.
Making smarter late-night snacking choices is crucial for weight management and overall well-being. By incorporating the tips discussed in this article, you can enjoy satisfying snacks without compromising your health goals.
Late night snacks don’t have to destroy your weight loss efforts if you always choose the right snacks and stick to small portions.
If you’re the type who often has late night food cravings stock your cupboards and fridge up with these snacks to replace the junk food you would normally reach for. After a while you won’t even think about the junk food anymore.