Got the late night munchies, here are some snacks to curb bed time hunger
Many people avoid snacking before bed because they are under the impression that eating late at night will cause you to gain more weight; or it will prevent you from losing excess pounds. In reality, this idea likely stems from the practice of eating the wrong types of snacks before bed rather than choosing healthier, more nutritious options.
If you find yourself reaching for a spoon and a pint of ice cream before you turn in for the evening then you’re not taking advantage of some of the more nutritiously conscious snacks available. For example, if you snack on the right kind of protein before bed you can actually build muscle while you sleep. Likewise, low glycemic carbohydrates can help to regulate your appetite and lower your blood sugar.
Read on for some quick and healthy recipes for some bed time snacks that are not only healthy but help curb bed time hunger aswell as having other health benefits.
Ice Cream Alternative
Ice cream before bed is strictly off-limits. With the excess sugar and cream you’re not doing yourself any weight loss favors. If you’re craving a frozen snack, try mashing up frozen bananas and adding in blueberries or strawberries. The frozen bananas create the consistency of ice cream without the calories, and the blueberries are rich in antioxidants and full of flavor and color.
Pumpkin Seeds: Not Just for Halloween
Roasted pumpkin seeds are rich in Magnesium, which is actually an essential oil that helps your body relax. Grabbing a handful of pumpkin seeds for a bedtime snack can provide you with up to 50% of your daily serving of Magnesium and can also help curb your craving for something salty. The next time you feel a craving for potato chips, try reaching for some roasted pumpkin seeds instead.
Honey Peanut Butter Cookies
Download our free eBook below for the recipe for Honey Peanut Butter Cookies
Warm Milk and Honey
The age-old practice of drinking warm milk before bed might be more psychological than scientific, but who’s to say a few mind games are so bad when trying to tuck in for the night? For a twist on the classic glass of milk, add in a little honey, but go easy on the serving, a little goes a long way, aim for no more than 1/2 teaspoon of honey. Just a little honey adds a slight element of sweetness and a few calories to help fill your stomach without overloading the milk with extra sugar.
Is Chocolate a Forbidden Fruit?
When dieting the first thing most people try to cut down on is their chocolate intake; but there’s good news: you don’t have to! There’s a difference between milk chocolate candy bars and rich, natural dark chocolate. The cheap candy bars you’ll find at the checkout counter at your grocery store are loaded with sugar and empty calories, but cacao-rich dark chocolate contains high levels of antioxidants without the added sugar of processed candy (a little history lesson for you, believe it or not but cacao is actually the correct word for cocoa. Cacao is actually the original name but over the years, the use of cocoa came about from a simple spelling mistake and now it the term used). If you’re craving a chocolate kick then look for dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao; eating an ounce of this type of chocolate can help lower blood pressure, fight inflammation, and improve insulin sensitivity.
High Protein Cake Batter Balls
Using vanilla protein powder (or chocolate protein powder is fine also), coconut flour, coconut oil, and a few tablespoons of water, this cake batter ball recipe creates rich, tasty cake balls that are also high in protein. Because it is jam packed with protein, it will help curb those late night sugar cravings and keep you satiated throughout the night. If you need a little extra sweetness you can add some liquid stevia to taste. Remember not to add sugar, as this will add to caloric content and sugar is not good to consume right before bed
Download our free eBook below for the recipe for High Protein Cake Batter Balls
A Healthy Milkshake?
A milkshake doesn’t have to be made from whole milk and ice cream for it to be a yummy treat, why not try making and alternative using protein power and low-fat milk? Many protein powders contain whey and casein, two ingredients that have thickening properties to help you create the creamy texture you associate with a more traditional (fattening) milkshake. This is also an excellent post-workout treat if you’re someone who hits up the gym after work.
Like the mashed frozen banana treat we have already mentioned, frozen blueberries are a refreshing way to end your day. Not only are blueberries high in antioxidants but by freezing them you create a crisp treat that is especially tasty on a warm summer night. Since blueberries are flash frozen after they are picked they don’t lose any nutrients in the freezing process and still taste amazing.
Don’t grab your nearest coconut-filled candy bar, rather opt for the healthier option of raw almonds as your evening snack. While they are higher in fat than many nuts, almonds have been shown to help reduce cholesterol and triglycerides. Like pistachios, these nuts are high in magnesium and can help contribute to your daily intake of the mineral in only a quarter cup of nuts. Just don’t overindulge on these as they are very calorie unfriendly.
Buying pistachios in the shell is a good way to slow down your night time snacking. First off, the process of de-shelling pistachios requires you to pace yourself while eating, therefore preventing you from mindlessly cramming a handful of nuts into your mouth. Another perk of eating shelled pistachios nuts is that they aren’t as high in fat as other nuts, allowing you to eat more of them and benefit from their many nutritional qualities. In general, nuts are very nutritious and contain high amounts of fiber, vitamin B6, folate, biotin, and thiamin, so reaching for them as a bedtime snack is an excellent way to fix those night time cravings while incorporating a nutritious snack.
Eating a healthy bedtime snack doesn’t have to be hard or restrictive, just be aware of what types of foods you are indulging in before you turn in for the night, and look out for alternatives that are less fattening, less sugary and less salty. Hopefully, these healthy late night snack ideas have given some good alternatives to those nasty night time diet disasters.