Late-night food cravings are the bane of our existence especially if we are trying to lose weight. We could eat healthy all day and feel full after dinner but sometimes those sudden midnight hunger pangs can possibly break the deal. What’s worse is that it can have the power to keep us awake at night. That’s why most of us can’t help raiding the pantry. Late-night snacking doesn’t need to derail your healthy eating. If you’re going to reach for a snack, make sure you choose healthy late-night snacks that won’t leave you feeling guilty the next morning.
Causes Why You Feel Hungry Before Bed
- You aren’t eating enough during the day.
- We eat late just by force of habit.
- Hormonal imbalance can lead to specific cravings (Insulin, ghrelin, leptin, and peptide YY).1
- Eating a large number of carbohydrates and sugar.
- Night eating syndrome.
- Irregular meal pattern
- Psychological reasons
- Staying up late.
If you do not eat, you might end up tossing-and-turning having uneasy dreams and feeling distracted in the morning. When your sleep is disturbed like that, your chances to gain weight may also go up. In that case, eating light healthy snacks before bed will actually do you good. Choosing the healthy late-night snacks can not only fulfill those cravings but may also improve sleep quality.
Here are some healthy late-night snacks that you can enjoy!
Popcorn, particularly stovetop popcorn, is a great complex carbohydrate snack, filling in those crispy late-night cravings. Popcorn is low in calories and can be topped with anything from salt and pepper to cinnamon and honey. Choose a popcorn that isn’t slathered in fake butter.
2. Avocado with cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese is packed with natural protein and fills you up without a lot of calories. The lean protein of cottage cheese contains tryptophan in large quantities which can help you fall asleep. Adding fresh fruit lends extra sweetness to satisfy that sweet tooth.
3. Tart Cherry Juice
It helps to improve symptoms of insomnia because it is packed with melatonin to improve sleep and polyphenolic compounds to reduce inflammation. 2
4. Carrot sticks with hummus dip.
One study discovered that a plant-based diet is associated with less fatigue and sleep-related impairments than either a high protein or a high saturated fat and sugar diet. 3
Hummus is made from chickpeas, olive oil, and garlic, which reduce inflammation and may improve heart health. If you need a little crunch before bed, reaching for veggies and some hummus may improve the quality of your sleep.
5. Apple slices with peanut butter
Apples are easy to digest because they are high in fiber. It has polyphenol antioxidants that improve gut health. They also help reduce orexin, a neurotransmitter responsible for keeping the body alert and inducing sleep. 4 Apples have healthy carbs for the body and paired with peanut butter help stabilize blood sugar.
Grapes are a great snack when you’re craving something sweet, plus they contain melatonin.
7. Tomatoes & Cream Cheese on Toast
Tomatoes contain small amounts of melatonin—paired with a small amount of cream cheese on whole-grain toast, calcium-enriched cream, and complex carbohydrates, this healthy late-night snacks fills you up.
8. Greek yogurt with blueberries
Yogurt is rich in probiotics, live microorganisms that improve digestion and contain tryptophan, regulating the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Pairing yogurt with fruit (a carbohydrate), allows tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier. Plus, berries are one of the best sources of antioxidants around. 5
9. Milk & Cereal
Pairing a low-sugar cereal with low-fat milk is a great snack option for late nights. High-glycemic carbs in cereal help individuals fall asleep faster, while the calcium in milk increases melatonin production.
Oats contain fiber to fill you up and beta-glucan to monitor cholesterol levels. Oats are also rich in melatonin, relaxing the body and encouraging sleep.
11. Fresh Fruit & Nuts
Fresh fruit is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, filling you up without added sugars and further helping your body relax as it prepares for sleep. Several studies suggest that eating nuts in moderation can help you lose weight. 6
12. Fruit Bars
Blending fresh fruit and freezing into popsicles is the perfect substitute for ice cream—vitamins from fresh fruit without heavy cream or added sugar is a sweet treat sans the extra calories.
13. Whole Grain Toast & Peanut Butter
Peanut has been shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides which may have additional benefits for heart health. Peanut butter is best consumed in moderation as it contains fairly high in calories.
14. Pepitas or Sunflower Seeds– Pumpkin Seeds and sunflower seeds are the perfect and healthy late-night snack when you just want a handful of deliciousness before bed. With 12 grams of protein, this salty snack is packed with enough healthy fat to leave you feeling full. The lightly toasted and salted varieties won’t throw you off your diet.
This crunchy vegetable is a filling snack, great with a little bit of sea salt. Edamame is a good source of tryptophan and satisfying for those who like salty snacks. Edamame is packed with 17 grams of protein. Best of all, each half-cup of edamame is only 95 calories.
16. Cheese & Crackers
Carbohydrates inside crackers digest slower and the fat and protein in cheese keep us full.
17. Tuna & Crackers
Tuna contains healthy fats, protein, and vitamin B6 which increases melatonin production to induce sleep. Complex carbohydrates of whole-grain crackers boost tryptophan levels in the body too.
18. Kale Chips
Kale chips are perfect for when you’re craving a crispy, salty snack. Kale is a source of calcium, a key ingredient in producing melatonin for better sleep.
19. Boiled or Scrambled Eggs
Eggs are packed with nutrients and also happen to be natural sources of melatonin and tryptophan. Plus, with the extra protein, you’ll be able to maintain a good blood-sugar balance while you sleep.
Curb Late-Night Snack Cravings
Although there are nutritious options, still we don’t encourage late-night snacking, After-dinner and before-bedtime snacking can only result in consuming unneeded calories.
- Eating meals at regular intervals is healthy for the body and its metabolism. It can maintain the bloodsugarlevels throughout the day and can also put a halt to those midnight hunger pangs.
- Consume foods high in essential fibers and healthy fats which provide sugar stability that can keep you full for a longer period.
- Protein can help you feel full faster and for longer, so ensuring you incorporate protein during meals and snacks may help with mindless snacking.
- Sleep deprivation can impair glucose metabolism and affect hormones linked to hunger, appetite, and body weight regulation. When we get too little sleep, we may confuse tiredness for hunger.
- Try our Slim Down Appetite Suppressants! A natural appetite suppressant that is shown to help you eat less food by reducing appetite, increasing feelings of fullness, or reducing food cravings. Contact us today to get your bottle of Slim Down Appetite Suppressants to curb your late-night cravings.
1. Chao AM, Jastreboff AM, White MA, Grilo CM, Sinha R. Stress, cortisol, and other appetite-related hormones: Prospective prediction of 6-month changes in food cravings and weight. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017;25(4):713-720. doi:10.1002/oby.21790.
3. Medawar E, Huhn S, Villringer A, Veronica Witte A. The effects of plant-based diets on the body and the brain: a systematic review. Transl Psychiatry. 2019;9(1):226. Published 2019 Sep 12. doi:10.1038/s41398-019-0552-0.