Sorry, nothing in cart.
You finished your day’s work and are now relaxing. The dishes are done, the floor is cleaned, the laundry is folded, and everyone is asleep. It is well after dark and your stomach starts rumbling. You look in your freezer, only to find hunks of cheap cheese, cake, and artificial juice—none of which is healthy—staring back at you. Oh, and you are trying to lose weight.
We have all been there.
The task is figuring out what you can eat that is quick, delicious, and will not cause you to pack on the kilos. After all, research suggests that eating too late at night could make weight loss harder. But if you find yourself hungry at night, a small, but nutrient-dense snack is generally fine at night.
Here are some healthy midnight snacks for weight loss.
Toast is not just for breakfast. In fact, it makes for an excellent late-night snack or mini-meal. Hummus is made with chickpeas, which are rich in B vitamins which helps your body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Just make sure to eat fiber-rich bread and made with whole wheat and you are good to go (to bed).
Not only will this add satisfying fiber to the mix, but it may also help you sleep better.
This is a powerhouse combo that promotes better sleep. This is because bananas are a good source of magnesium, which helps calm stress hormones and can promote sleep. They are made up of fast-digesting carbs, which lead to the release of insulin. When insulin is released it helps tryptophan (an essential amino acid) enter the brain and induces sleep.
Nut butter contains healthy fats that satiate your brain and body. Just be sure to stick to a tablespoon or two to keep calorie intake in check.
Pistachios stand out among other nuts for their high levels of sleep-promoting qualities. A handful of shelled pistachios has only 160 calories and a whopping 6.5 mg of melatonin, which is a sleep-inducing hormone. For comparison, the amount of melatonin typically recommended for adults is 0.5–5 mg.
Cottage cheese or paneer is a good option to snack on in case of late-night hunger pangs. It is chock-full of protein which is essential for muscle recovery. If you lift weights regularly, then consuming protein before bed can help your muscles repair themselves. Studies have shown that eating 30 grams of protein an hour before bed appears to have a positive effect on muscle quality, metabolism, and overall health. Not bad for a late-night snack, huh?
Choose tart cherries, kiwis, or bananas as a topping for their sweetness and their sleep-promoting powers. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. It’s naturally occurring in many fruits and vegetables including tart cherries, pineapple, kiwis, and pomegranates. What’s more, they have a healthy dose of vitamin C essential for the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues. It aids the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, and supports the immune system, amongst many other functions.
Remember when your mother used to force you to have a warm glass of milk before sleep? Well, milk is rich in tryptophan. Your body uses this essential amino acid to make both serotonin and melatonin, which aid sleep.
Why not make it a protein-rich snack for snacking? Smoothies are an easy and tasty way to sneak in protein-rich milk before bed. Just shake up a protein-rich smoothie using low-fat milk, your favorite nut butter, and a banana. Or just blend some low-fat milk with frozen pineapples. Eating a protein-rich snack before bed has been shown to aid in muscle repair and help slow down age-related muscle loss, particularly if you work out regularly.
A small snack before bedtime may help you sleep better and wake up fresh the next morning, ready to take on the world. And while none of the foods mentioned in the article have magical healing powers, they all add a nutrition boost to your day (or rather, night). If you are on a diet, just make sure to buy only certified organic food. Organic food products are fresher and contain more nutrients than their non-organic counterpart.