Night Cravings: Snacks that are ok to eat at night
One of the simplest ways to “go on a diet” is to simply not eat after 6 pm. However, this is easier to say than to do! Some people do not return home from work until six. Most likely when they get home, they haven’t eaten since their lunch break at work. Thus, not eating in the evening for the sake of weight loss is not the way out. So what should you do if you want to stay slim and healthy but also have a good dinner? Regardless of how odd it may sound, you should decide on some healthy night snacks!
Good night, metabolism!
Eating right before bedtime is not good because at night the physiological processes in the body (including digestion) slow down. Therefore, the food that goes into the stomach shortly before sleep, will not digest as quickly as food is digested during the day. These undigested foods can begin to rot, which then your poor stomach needs to process in the morning. Often it is difficult for the stomach to digest a heavy midnight snack. As a result, toxins are formed and absorbed into the blood. Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it?
Over time unhealthy midnight snacks can wreak other havoc on the body. Among these negative issues is dull, brittle hair, weakened immunity, bad skin color, and lethargy. In addition to these things, you can also gain weight because of the calories produced, which, instead of being burned, are stored in fat on your hips and abdomen.
Healthy late night snacks
However, it is also not a good idea to launch an evening hunger strike. Just picture that you have nothing to eat for 14 hours (from 6 pm to 8 am)! Such pauses are a direct call to action for your stomach: it starts stockpiling and this is nothing else than fat depositing (the enzyme lipoprotein lipase, the activity of which increases with prolonged food interruptions, directs fatty acids into the subcutaneous fatty tissue). According to Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., the author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan and a professor of nutrition at Penn State University, there is no linkage between evening snacks and weight change. In her interview for WebMD, she cited statistics about late night snacks and obese people and assured the interviewers there was no connection.
Therefore, the best option is to have some healthy late night snacks 2-3 hours before bedtime. Vegetable salad with low-fat cottage cheese, a glass of milk or cheese and crackers. With these small meals, your figure is saved and your stomach is filled!
If you’re finding it hard to stop eating evening snacks after dinner or watching TV, it is better to have healthy options. There is a list of foods which are recommended to people who cannot live without a midnight snack. The following foods have negative calorie effect, that is, they cause you to burn more calories than they contain. Here are the most popular of them:
For example, Kelly Osbourne eats a half of an apple as a late night food. She believes that it (in combination with a balanced diet, of course) helped her to lose extra pounds. There is a “slice” of truth in this: one apple with skin contains about 10% of the daily fiber we need, which normalizes the work of the gastrointestinal tract, reduces the level of cholesterol in the body and plays an important role in losing weight.
Keep in mind: late night snacks of apples are not a good idea for people having stomach problems. The apples can increase intestinal gas formation.
Each mandarin orange or orange has about 40 calories. But considering their small size, you can put citrus fruit in the list of low-calorie healthy evening snacks. Plus, they contain a lot of fiber and vitamin C, which is responsible for good digestion. There won’t be any harm from a couple of orange segments, so add them to your late-night snack ideas.
Keep in mind: citrus has contraindications such as acute gastritis and other stomach diseases.
The celery root has only 42 calories, so you can eat it as a midnight snack either as a salad (for example, with carrots) or in sticks.
Keep in mind: celery contains lots of fiber which is useful for the stomach but it is also a natural diuretic product. It takes out excess fluid and toxins, so don’t eat too much as a late night food. Also, celery juice should not be consumed during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Greek yogurt and kefir are rich in calcium, the microelement which is best absorbed when you sleep. Both products are natural sedatives that can be consumed to help prevent insomnia. They can cause a relaxing effect due to the small percentage of alcohol formed during fermentation. So, when eating late at night is a part of your life, consider yogurt, an easily digestible product that has beneficial effects on the work of the intestines and may even help you sleep better.
Keep in mind: people with high stomach acidity should not drink too much kefir.
Make a salad seasoned with vegetable oil and have at as a snack to eat at night. First, the beet is low-calorie. Second, it is rich in betaine that burns fat, curcumin, a natural anti-inflammatory element, and pectin, which regulates intestinal motility, normalizes intestinal flora, and rids the body of toxins. Beet salads seem to be very healthy midnight snacks!
Keep in mind: beets have some contraindications like kidney diseases and acute inflammatory processes in the stomach.
Banana cannot be referred to a low-calorie food, it has about 90 calories per 4 oz. However, bananas help to fall asleep faster thanks to the amino acid tryptophan, which produces serotonin, a hormone of joy. This is beneficial to the nervous system. In 2009, scientists at the Australian University of New England found that bananas can help in the treatment of sleep disorders and even get rid of snoring. A banana cocktail or fresh banana before bedtime are healthy night snacks.
Keep in mind: people with increased sugar level should not have bananas for evening snacks.
You can also eat these healthy bedtime snacks in small amounts:
- boiled chicken;
- a small bowl of oatmeal;
- one baked potato;
- a handful of dried fruits.
The foods you should not have for late night snacks:
- fried and fatty foods;
- spicy dishes with a lot of seasonings;
- salty foods.
As you can see, the variety of healthy bedtime snacks is rich. All of them are beneficial for your health without harming your figure. So, next time you decide to hunt for a midnight snack, let it be something from the list above keep you satisfied and healthy.