To be a successful dieter, you don't always have to say "no" to your cravings. Sometimes cravings are just your body's way of telling you it needs certain nutrition. However, you cannot mindlessly splurge on food whenever wants arise. Some snacks are full of salt, sugar, fat and calories, which can damage your body and cause weight rebounds. Late night snacking is especially risky for weight gain because your natural metabolism is at its slowest before bedtimes. Eating oily, high sweetened or salty snacks late in the evenings can disrupt both your sleep cycles and your weight loss plan.
The following are four low calorie healthy snacks that can satisfy your sudden cravings and help you get a sound night of sleep:
Cottage cheese is an excellent choice for a nighttime snack because it's low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Don't shy away from "full-fat" cottage cheese, as 2/3 cup of full-fat cottage cheese contains less than 6 grams of fat, which will help you feel fuller and kill cravings. Look for cottage cheese with live and active cultures to get a dose of probiotics without having to take a supplement.
If you're craving something salty and savory, don't dig into a bag of fattening potato chips. Instead, make a batch of stove-top popcorn — it only takes a few minutes and is much better for you than most store-bought bags! Once popped, sprinkle any of your favorite low-calorie toppings on top. A dash of chili pepper flakes or dried spices adds lots of flavor without extra calories, and sprinkling parmesan cheese on top helps satisfy buttery cravings without resorting to the high-fat, high-calorie dairy product.
A large banana, at 121 calories, is a perfect nighttime snack to keep you satisfied. A banana's main contribution to your diet will likely be through its fiber content. Fiber keeps you feeling full for longer, and bananas pack a healthy amount. One large banana contains about 3.5 grams of fiber. In addition to keeping you full for longer, fiber fights heart disease and keeps your digestive system working properly. A large banana also has 487 milligrams of potassium, which is important for muscle and nerve health.
Cherries are one of the few foods that naturally contain melatonin, which helps control your body’s internal clock. This sleep-promoting hormone lowers body temperature and helps induce drowsiness. A recent study found that adults who drank two daily glasses of tart cherry juice slept 40 minutes longer on average and had up to a 6% increase in sleep efficiency. Try a small bowl of fresh cherries or a glass of tart cherry juice before bed to help you get some shut-eye.
Salmon is a perfect pre-bed food source because it's high in protein content and contains healthy omega fats. Many people fall short in omega fat content. This goes a long way to supporting your overall health!
Your metabolism never takes a break, even while you sleep. Give it the energy it craves with easy-to-make snacks that fuel muscle growth!