You follow all the available health advice from drinking enough water each day to getting in your 30 minutes of exercise as well. However, one of the most difficult health must-dos is that of not eating after the recommended 6 p.m. each night. In the more fashionable and trendy parts of the country, it seems eating dinner at 9 p.m. or around then is just what you do. Health experts say if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your weight, this is a big no-no.
Sometimes you can’t help it though if your stomach wakes you up rumbling. What do you do when your hunger grips ahold of you and it’s late at night? Well, nutritionists have provided a list of foods that are relatively all right to snack on late at night. For example, if you’re a sweet tooth individual craving a sugary snack, aim for noshing on half a banana with almond butter and throw in a fruit topping. Also, try snacking on a half a cup of Greek yogurt with a tablespoon or two of low-fat granola.
Another great snack is a consuming a handful of pistachios, which provide protein, heart-healthy benefits, and loads of vitamins and minerals.
The key to late-night snacking is try not to do it often, but if you’re going to snack, keep your treat healthy and under 200 calories. It’s also important to avoid spicy foods, which can cause heartburn or indigestion and be more difficult to digest as you lay down for the night.
Other items to avoid include fatty foods. Similar to consuming spicy foods, you’ll find difficulty digesting while you sleep. Fatty food consumption right before bed, though, can also slow your metabolism. Most health experts agree that a slow metabolism can lead to weight gain over time.
Snacks that are recommended include low-fat cheeses such as a mozzarella string cheese or a Babybel cheese round. Pair the cheese with Wasa crackers or a thin slice of Ezekiel bread – all of which can be found at your local grocer. You can also try snacking on a slice of whole wheat, low-calorie bread and topping it with a sliced hard-boiled egg or a smear of freshly-cut avocado.
Also, avoid sugary or highly caffeinated snacks late at night as well. You’ll begin to set in a sugary craving each night if you give in to this type of snack and you’ll have difficulties falling asleep as well as gaining solid rest.
Instead, have a bowl of cereal, but choose from an unsweetened almond or coconut milk or skim milk and include a high-fiber cereal. Throw in a handful of blueberries for added flavor.
Other approved snacks include a scoop of low fat or non-fat cottage cheese. For a saltier version, add pepper and spoon onto a Wasa cracker. You can also add in blueberries, which are recommended because they don’t have extremely high levels of natural sugars like consuming a cupful of strawberries would.
Slice up a tomato and pair it with some deli meat turkey slices with a shake of pepper and this makes for a high-protein, high fiber, and low calories snack. If you prefer not to consume meat, the tofu turkey slice substitute is also an ideal substitute.
Almonds and cashews paired with a tablespoon of dried fruit or ¼ cup of fresh fruit are another good option but do note that if you’re especially sensitive to sugar consumption then avoid this snack as it may keep you up with the natural sugars of the fruit.
Be sure to consume a large glass of water or non-caffeinated tea with your snack, this way you’ll fill up while drinking the water as well instead of turning toward seconds with your late-night snacking, which could begin to wreak havoc on your waist line over time.
Overall, it’s important to note that while these are recommended late-night snacks approved by nutritionists, it’s never a good idea to get into the habit of late-night snacking long-term. The topic is considered controversial with physicians and nutritionists battling it out on both sides.
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