(Health Secrets) The longer you stay awake working, watching your favorite television program or turning the pages of a book, the hungrier you get. First, you ignore the rumbling. Next, you drink down a full glass of water that’s more likely to get you up during the night than satisfy your hunger. Now the rumble is a full-on growl and you can ignore it no longer. It’s time for the healthiest late night snacks!
Overeating before bed can easily sabotage your weight-loss efforts because at night, your metabolism slows and your body stores more fat as you sleep. The trick to enjoying a midnight snack without the guilt is to choose healthy, protein-rich foods instead of sweet ones.
Why You Get Hungry at Night
Sometimes, you get hungry at night because you’re dehydrated. Lack of protein in your diet during the day can cause you to feel hungry at night. If your hunger pangs come on suddenly, it could be due to hypoglycemia, lack of protein or a combination of both. Maybe you had an early dinner and you just can’t wait until morning.
However, if you’re just bored and looking for something to do, rethink your trip to the fridge.
For everything else, there are these healthiest late-night snacks:
The Healthiest Late-Night Snacks
- Greek Yogurt
Organic Greek yogurt contains 17 grams of filling protein and only 0.7 grams of fat, making it an excellent late-night snack. Mix in a bit of flax seed and fruit for a guilt-free treat before bed.
- Nut Butter
Organic peanut, almond, and cashew butter and a few slices of fruit make the perfect midnight snack. Fresh fruit gives you just a taste of the sweetness you’re craving without the added calories. Nut butters are also very rich in protein. Peanut butter, for example, contains 8 grams of protein per 2-tablespoon serving.
- Vegetables and Hummus
Hummus is a snack spread made from mashed chickpeas. It contains 7.4 grams of protein per serving and pairs well with organic carrots, broccoli, celery, and more. (Vegetables are a healthy, nutrient-rich alternative to carb-heavy crackers).
- Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese contains 17% protein and plenty of healthy fat. Eaten alone or mixed with minced veggies or herbs, this filling food is an ideal guilt-free midnight snack.
- Raw Food Bars
There are plenty of granola bars and snack bars out there that are no better for your health than a candy bar. When selecting a snack bar, think organic raw food with 5 ingredients or less. Plus, with raw food bars, you can get your chocolate fix without feeling terrible afterward.
Having a late-night snack doesn’t have to make you feel bloated and worried about gaining weight. As a matter of fact, the right midnight snack can actually help you lose weight by keeping your blood sugar stabilized and your metabolism strong.
Remember, no matter what late-night snack you choose, eat enough so you’re just a bit full, not stuffed. Eating too much of anything, especially right before going to bed can cause you to pack on the pounds.
Photo by Helga Weber