Snacking regularly after the sun has set can put you on a high-speed train to weight gain. Many people pack on pounds after they’ve eaten late at night because they’ve already had dinner so their total caloric intake becomes much higher for the day. Plus, we’re more likely to make poor food choices late at night when we’re stressed, lonely or just bored.
If you have a nighttime snack often, immediately eliminating it from your diet isn’t easy. But in the meantime, you can try to make sure that your snacks are healthy and even nutritious. Keep reading for some ideas.
- A bowl of cereal and skim milk – Avoid sugary, processed cereals like Cocoa Crisp and Lucky Charms, and try a granola-based one instead. Kashi has tons of options that will please any palate. Whole milk may seem like the tastiest choice to mix with your cereal, but skim milk will keep you healthier and still satisfied.
- Dried fruit or raisins – Instead of having that huge, juicy pear, try have some dried fruit as a late night snacks. That way you can choose your portion size. Whereas you have to eat a whole apple or it will turn brown, you can have 1/2 C. apple crisps without worry. Plus, putting the right amount in a bowl and eating away from the kitchen means you less likely to come back for more.
- Roasted nuts – Some people crave salty foods at night, and nuts are your best option, if you’re one of those salt-lovers. Filled with lots of fiber, a small handful of nuts is enough to keep you full. You won’t have to keep getting more, and if you feel your hunger remain, have a glass of water before grabbing more food.
- Hummus and carrots – With this snack, you’re getting your vegetables in along with some protein. The crunch in the carrots can actually make this a fun snack to munch on, too. Limit how much hummus you eat, and try to only have 1/2 Tbs. on each little carrot stick.
- 100-calorie pack of popcorn – You can find these smaller bags in any grocery store now because everyone has gotten on the 100-calorie bandwagon. We have too! These bags are the perfect size, and if you’re looking for something more, add a sprinkle of cinnamon to your popcorn.
- Pumpkin seeds – These delicious seeds are also good for you! They contain protein and unsaturated fat, so they’ll satisfy your appetite and keep you from snacking on the less-healthy options. You can add a couple for a mini trail mix meal, or just roast a couple for yourself.