Eating healthy food is almost everyone’s dream. Though we like to munch on tasty unhealthy food sometimes, this will result in the accumulation of unwanted fat and an unhealthy body. After a few days you will feel stressed and depressed due to this unhealthy lifestyle. Putting a few extra kilos will bring a massive change into your life. You tend to lose your self esteem and start to move away from the world around you. This is definitely not the best sign! What you could do is make a few little changes to your life, to acquire the best. You may be doing everything right according to you, but the late night munching is the major mistake. Craving for food at night is completely normal, especially when you begin an exercise regime. This happens because your metabolic rate boosts up. Healthy snacks should be your first preference, even if you select the best work out plan and forget to eat healthy food; your hard work is in vain, so eat right!
Healthy snacks should be included into your daily eating habits. Choosing the healthiest foods to munch on at night is extremely important. Maybe staying up at night is your work demand, or you don’t want to miss your favorite television program or you’re just up to complete an important assignment. Whatever maybe your demands late night cravings are something that follow. As you work you can hear your stomach growling for food.
Why Do I Crave For Food At Night?
If you are wondering why you crave for food at night, there are a huge set of reasons. Here are a few reasons why this may be happening:
Hunger (accelerated metabolism)
Low salt or sugar levels.
Lack of protein in your body
Every night when you feel hungry, try to think about something that you should eat, not what you want to eat. Junk foods are a huge No No! It may be satisfying for that moment but you will feel guilty for making that choice later on. Also junk foods tend to prevent you from acquiring a proper sleep. So here are a few protein-rich healthy snacks that you can choose to munch on for the night. Go into the kitchen and prepare a healthy snack for your hungry tummy.
The best way to serve your food cravings at night is to set up a separate place in your kitchen or your refrigerator. As you may be really tired to prepare healthy snacks at night, you could prepare them before hand and store them. This will make it much more convenient for you to choose the healthy snacks, as you won’t feel lazy and grab a packet of chips. Here are the best snacks you can have when you feel hungry at night.
Foods You Can Eat at Night:
Multi-grain pretzels are really healthy and tasty to eat. Whether it is in stick form or twisted form, it is the best alternative for chips. A handful of pretzels consist of 100 calories, and to boost up your metabolism you can drink them with yogurt.
Pour a glass of water into the mixer and add 2 tablespoons of yogurt. Add one teaspoon of honey and three to four strawberries into it. Blend them together and enjoy this refreshing juice with a few ice cubes. This is a great protein shake, and has digestion boosting probiotics.
You can try nutty crackers for a delightful snack – multigrain crackers, whole wheat or low fat mini toasts. You can serve it with light cheese or eat it with a small slice of lean meat. Crackers have protein and are healthy for the body. Don’t choose the ones which are white and starchy.
If you love ice creams, you can choose a healthier alternative. You can pour a homemade smoothie into the ice cubes. Pour the strawberries shake into the ice tray and freeze it. You can make it a slushy and eat it up. The best cold snack ever!
Popcorn is a great snack at night. Whether you are watching a movie or reading a book, munching on popcorn is just simply great. A pack (94% fat free) consists only 100 calories. Avoid the butter and use lemon powder for a tangy flavor.
Are you chocoholic? Great! So here is a snack you will definitely love! Chocolate, which is made of 70% cocoa has less sugar and more number of antioxidants. Thus, it is a great substitute for plain chocolate.
You can munch on some tasty dark chocolate which will lower your blood pressure. It will also satisfy your craving for chocolate. Now, don’t get too excited, just a few cubes of your dark chocolate will do. Don’t consume too many!
Dried figs taste like chewy candy, and are the best for people with a sweet tooth. It is sweet yet healthy and tasty too, so try to munch on it when you crave for food at night. To add a slight variation to this, you can also sprinkle your figs with light cheese.
Yes, cereal, but only with low fat milk. You know that cereal is great for breakfast; however using low fat milk with your cereal at night will give you the feeling of being full. All the nutrients in it will give you a healthy dose of protein, vitamin D and calcium. Try to choose some high-protein, low sugar cereal for your midnight snacking.
Fruits are packed with a range of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber (more than 4 grams). If you would like to eat a dessert at night, just add a little whipped cream to your bowl of frozen blue berries. It is a delicious fruity dessert to make your tummy happy.
Fruit and Yogurt:
Greek yogurt is high in protein and low in fat, so add some of your favorite fruit and munch on. It will keep you full at the same time, helps you to lose weight. Add fresh fruit to your yogurt for an antioxidant boost. You can also choose to eat this yogurt with a slice of papaya.
Whole Wheat Bread:
Whole wheat bread digests easily and making a sandwich from it will work well for the nights. You can use fresh vegetables or chicken filling which will boost up your protein. You can spice it up with some tomatoes and low-fat cheese.
Toast with Bananas:
This combination has complex carbohydrates, which produce melatonin in the brain and help you fall asleep easily. It will also bring a gradual rise in insulin and help you relax. Bananas contain magnesium and potassium which will relax the muscles of your body and promote sleep.
You can make some vegetable chips by baking them. Try new varieties of snacking on vegetables, by sprinkling lemon powder on your freshly baked chips.
Sugar free Chewing Gum:
If you are not hungry, but just like to munch on food, you can choose to chew gum. Make sure that the gum is sugar free. With this you will have the feel of munching on something but not gathering fat into your body.
You can munch on some tasty fruit at night. If you want something cold, try to freeze the fruit and eat it. It is a healthy substitute for other junk food.
Protein bars will help you feel energized and active. The chewy texture of the bars will make you feel like you are eating a lot, when actually you aren’t. So trick yourself and enjoy a short snack at night.
If you are craving for something other than veggies and fruit, try an egg roll. Boil one egg and cut it up into pieces, take whole wheat bread and place your egg into it. Spice it up with lettuce and lemon powder. You can toast or bake the bread and eat it.
If you have a few veggie sticks in your freezer, pop them in the oven or microwave. Spice up 2 tablespoons of yogurt. Eat the hot veggie sticks with your yogurt sauce.
Cut down the sugar and add some cocoa to your hot milk. Add 2 teaspoons of honey and drink it up. It satisfies your senses to the maximum. Enjoy a hot snack before going to bed.
Foods You Need to Avoid at Night:
Food choices are hard to make when you have a wide range to choose from. So pay attention to the following tips, it is extremely important to keep these in your mind. These are foods that will build up fat fast and you will definitely end up regretting these choices.
These greasy, heavy and fatty foods make you feel sluggish and lazy. Along with this they also increase your waistline, making your stomach bulge. This will put a lot of pressure on your digestive system and slow down your metabolism. Leave out all kinds of fast food, cheesy food and ice cream, before going to bed.
Carbohydrate or Sugary Foods:
Anything with sugar or high- carbohydrates, just before going to bed is quiet dangerous. Eating a piece of chocolate cake will surely boost your blood-sugar levels and disrupt your sleep in the process. Avoid foods like cake, cookies, or other rich desserts. Avoid white bread and other high- carbohydrate foods.
Eating red meat at night is a bad choice. It will have the same effect as greasy food, by making your stomach bulge. It makes it harder for you to fall asleep and also disrupts the digestive process.
Spices are the natural cure for all kinds of ailments, but they are perfect for late night cravings. Avoid spicy, peppery foods and hot sauces, as they may upset your stomach. The spices will also stimulate your senses, making it hard for you to sleep.
You need to choose snacks at night, not meals. Anything over 200 calories is called a meal not a snack. This will make it hard for you to sleep at night and also make you feel lazy and low for the next morning. So choose the right amount of snacks and count the calories. Avoid anything that you would want to eat in huge portions. Absolutely avoid rice, alcohol and cold drinks.
Move away from the food that will tempt you. Try to avoid eating out of boredom, keep yourself occupied with some activity. Read a book, take a warm bubble bath, go for a short walk on the terrace, listen to music or even play with your dog. Do anything to keep your mind away from food! Since dehydration is one of the causes for food cravings at night, drink water if you feel hungry. If you’re satisfied, you don’t need to munch on anything. Avoid the consumption of caffeine – coffee or other beverages.
Always choose the best food to eat. You have a wide range of options now. Whatever you feel like eating, whether it is a dessert, cold snack, sandwich or chips, you have the perfect substitutes. You will only gain a healthy personality, by eating these snacks. Choose wisely and take care of your body. Also keep in mind the calories of the snacks you’re munching on. Don’t sleep immediately after snacking on food. Give your tummy sometime to digest it, you can take a short walk in your room. Hope you enjoy these delicious recipes. Enjoy a healthy and tasty snacking at night!
Deblina Biswas is a professional content writer at TheFitIndian.com. She has done her masters in English and has done her graduation from Banaras Hindu University. She has a penchant for writing on health, beauty and fashion.