10 Easy & Healthy Late Night Snacks to Ease Your Cravings

10 Easy & Healthy Late Night Snacks to Ease Your Cravings
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One of the biggest enemies of healthy diets and weight loss plans is the late night hunger cravings. You’re tired, you’re lazy, and you’re hungry. It’s so easy to grab whatever is available, whether it’s packaged snacks, dinner leftovers, or candy. While a little indulgence here and there is okay, too much junk food can seriously derail your healthy diet. Instead, these easy, affordable, tasty late night snacks are the perfect healthy alternatives to feed your craving. It requires a little discipline, but if you reach for these healthy late night snacks your body will thank you.

10 Best Healthy Late Night Snacks

10 Easy & Healthy Late Night Snacks to Ease Your Cravings

1. Oatmeal

That’s right, it’s not just for breakfast. A steaming bowl of oatmeal makes a great late night snack, especially on chilly fall and winter nights. Oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber, so it helps fill you up and squash your hunger with a small portion. You can easily dress it up to make it savory or sweet, depending on what you’re craving. Use healthier add-ins like berries or honey for some sweetness.

2. Popcorn

Yum! Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks because it can easily be dressed up for a variety of flavors. At it’s most basic, popcorn is a low calorie but filling snack. Air popped corn has less than 100 calories in a 3 cup serving but packs 4 grams of fiber to help you fill up.

It’s best to air pop the popcorn to avoid extra oils and skip the butter. If you don’t own an air popper, you can pop the corn in a paper bag in the microwave or use one of these handy silicone popcorn poppers.

If you want some extra flavor, use spices or nutritional yeast to give your snack a kick without adding calories.

Blueberries Healthy Late Night Snacks

3. Fruit

Whenever I get an after dinner craving for sweets, I try to reach for fresh or frozen fruit instead of candy or cakes. Natural sugars are healthier for your body, plus the fiber in fruit will help you feel full.

Fruits that are particularly good for promoting sleep include bananas, kiwi, strawberries, and other berries. They’re also perfect to combine with other late night snacks to make tasty treats.

4. Nuts

Nuts are a healthy, high protein snack that will help quell hunger cravings. Look for healthy nuts like almonds or pistachios to munch on. Pumpkin seeds, though not a nut, are another good option.

Pistachios are particularly good for late night snacking because they naturally contain melatonin. A handful of pistachios has as much melatonin as a dietary supplement.

You can also combine a nut butter like almond butter or peanut butter with a banana for a double flavor, double hunger punch.

5. Greek Yogurt

When you’re craving ice cream, reach for greek yogurt instead. Go for plain Greek yogurt (check out the labels: flavored yogurt are high in sugar and calories) that you enhance with fresh fruits, nuts, and/or honey. If you’re feeling especially naughty, add a little dark chocolate instead to satisfy chocolate cravings, but don’t go overboard on this!

Cheese and Crackers Healthy Late Night Snacks

6. Cheese and Crackers

A small portion of cheese with crackers makes a decadent and delicious snack. Pair any cheese of your liking with whole grain crackers to keep the snack healthy. When paired together, cheese and crackers support consistent blood sugar levels. Cheese also is a good source of tryptophan (one of the amino acids that helps your body create serotonin, which helps you sleep. Learn more.). Combining cheese with a carb, like crackers, helps with tryptophan absorb into your brain. That will help you fall asleep easier when it’s time for bed.

If you’re on a diet, make sure to keep your servings in check because cheese can get high in calories.

7. Cereal

Yes, another breakfast staple that’s perfect for late night snacking. The key here is the type of cereal you select. Something sugary or filled with marshmallows is a poor choice. Look for corn-based cereals without added sugars and make sure to keep the portion size small (don’t go over 300 calories).

A basic cereal like corn flakes with some skim milk is the perfect snack to make you sleepy. High-glycemic carbs in the cereal help induce sleep and the calcium in the milk helps your body produce melatonin.

8. A Half Sandwich

Sandwiches make easy meals, and if you cut it in half it’s the perfect late night snack. Choose either a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a turkey sandwich. The carbs in the bread help your body process the tryptophan found in the peanut butter and the turkey, making it easier to fall asleep.

Even if you think you’re really hungry, eat only half of the sandwich because overeating can interfere with sleep. Eat a half portion and then wait. I bet you’ll feel full after letting yourself digest.

Edamame Healthy Late Night Snacks

9. Edamame

Edamame is one of my favorite late night snacks. You may just think of it as a pre-sushi appetizer, but it’s an incredibly easy snack to prepare at home. I usually get a bag of frozen edamame in my fridge so I can heat some up whenever I get a craving.

While you can enjoy dry roasted edamame with the same benefits, you can easily thaw or boil frozen edamame and then toss with a bit of salt and pepper. This bean is a good source of protein and tryptophan. Add some carbs like crackers or whole grain toast to speed up the absorption of the tryptophan.

10. Dark Chocolate

I am a chocoholic and though I try to avoid candy and sugary desserts too close to bedtime, sometimes you just can’t resist. So if none of the other late night snacks on this list will satisfy your chocolate craving, you can have a little bit of chocolate.

Reach for dark chocolate instead of a Hershey’s bar. Go as dark as you can stand, but make sure it’s at least 70% cacao, which contains less sugar and lots of antioxidants. Keep your portion in control, especially because the caffeine can interfere with sleep.

Having trouble falling asleep? Try these self care habits to unwind before bed and use these guided meditations for sleep and insomnia.

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