Many think to achieve weight loss, one must not snack, especially after dinner. When late night cravings attack, it can be hard to stay out of the kitchen. Although late night snacking can contribute to weight gain, filling that bedtime hunger pang can still take place while keeping your goals in mind - it may even result in better sleep.
All credit goes to WebMD
Can the concept of "you snooze, you lose" really tailor to weight loss? Many think to achieve weight loss, one must not snack, especially at bedtime. When late night cravings attack, it may be hard to avoid a trip to the kitchen. Although late night snacking can contribute to weight gain, filling that bedtime hunger pang can still take place without negotiating health goals and may result in better sleep.
Getting the Most Out of Late Night Snacks
The essential amino acid tryptophan is a converter to serotonin and melatonin, associated with sleep and wake cycles. However, tryptophan is not used instantaneously. Instead, consuming sources like turkey, chicken, and milk fills up the tryptophan brain tank and a low-carb snack empties it for use. Take a bite out of these tryptophan-stimulating late night snacks:
1. Whole Grain Cereals
Instead of categorizing cereal as a strict breakfast option, grab your favorite cereal bowl and spoon a little sooner. The complex carbs of whole grain cereal can keep the belly satiated until the morning hours.
Unlike a bowl of cereal with chilled milk, the warmth of oatmeal can be quite comforting and soothing before bedtime. Instead of sweetening and fattening the oats up with sugar and butter, try adding naturally-sweetened berries and cinnamon.
Bagels can be extremely high in calories and carbohydrates. To reduce carb content, consume only half or go for the mini bagels found at most grocers. Choosing whole grain bagels can further provide the body with essential fiber and B vitamins.
Although toast may not sound the most appealing, a slice may be able to do the bedtime trick without sky-rocketing the carb content. For added flavor, lightly smear with jam or peanut butter.
Bonus Bedtime Bites
If the snacks above seem a little "heavy," these lighter options will have you feeling satisfied without sacrificing weight loss goals:
5. Greek Yogurt
Lots of protein may be a little tough on the stomach prior to bed. However, a small cup of Greek yogurt can reduce the chance for reaching for an ice-cream pint. Additionally, stay cautious of yogurts loaded with added sugars.
That classic bowl of popcorn can be a healthy movie night snack. When it comes to popcorn, it is important to not load the kernels with oil, butter, and salt. To enhance flavor without packing on calories, sprinkle popcorn with savory or sweet seasonings such as a taco packet or cinnamon.
7. Chopped Veggies
Wanting a little crunch? Ditch the chip bag and embrace the nutrients of fresh veggies! Carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers are excellent contenders to achieve crunchiness for few calories. Dip in hummus for added flavor and nutritional content.
8. Rice Cakes
This healthy late night snack offers a light crunch without added oils and loads of fat and carbs. Flavor rice cakes with fruit or your favorite nut butter. For added crunch, sprinkle a small spoonful of slivered almonds, pecans, or sunflower seeds.
If a sweet tooth erupts late at night, a cup of unsweetened applesauce may do the trick! If desiring the crunch, reach for the real deal. The skin of an apple is rich in insoluble fiber and promotes good digestive health.
When it comes to the best late night snacks for weight loss, it is critical to stick to portions and serving sizes. Despite the healthy associations of the foods listed above, excess of each can pack on the calories and lead to weight gain. Try to identify if you are actually feeling hungry or if it is the late night movie watching that is leading to the munchies.