15 Bedtime Snacks for Weight Loss
Can the concept of "you snooze, you lose" really tailor to weight loss? These healthy bedtime snacks may just be your ticket losing weight and sleeping better!
While most think to achieve weight loss, one must not snack, especially at bedtime. But when late night cravings attack, it may be hard to avoid a trip to the kitchen.
Although late night snacking can contribute to weight gain, filling that bedtime hunger pang can still take place without negotiating health goals. What's more, these things to eat at night when hungry may result better sleep and weight loss.
15 Healthy Bedtime Snacks
Snacks for Losing Weight and Inducing Sleep
In addition to standing as healthy late snacks for weight loss, the coupling of tryptophan-containing and low-carb sources can help induce sleep.
The essential amino acid tryptophan is a converter to serotonin and melatonin, two hormones associated to sleep and wake cycles. However, tryptophan cannot be used immediately. Instead, consuming tryptophan sources fills up the tryptophan brain tank and a lower carb snack helps empty it for use.
These healthy bedtime snack combos can guide you to dreamland without breaking the calorie bank:
1. Whole Grain Cereal and Milk
Instead of categorizing cereal as a strict breakfast option, grab your favorite cereal bowl and spoon a little sooner. The complex carbs of whole grain cereal paired with milk can induce sleep while keeping the belly satiated until the morning hours.
Whole grains are also rich in magnesium, a mineral shown to improve sleep efficiency, time, and onset when supplemented.
2. Oats with A Splash of Milk
Unlike a bowl of cereal with chilled milk, the warmth of oatmeal can be quite comforting and soothing before bedtime. Instead of sweetening and fattening the oats up with sugar and butter, add a splash of milk, berries and cinnamon to add natural sweetness and nutrients.
3. Half of A Turkey Sandwich
To satisfy that late night hunger while controlling portions, prepare a sleep-inducing turkey sandwich. Simply toast (or not) a slice of whole grain or wheat bread and layer with a few slices of turkey. To limit fat content, skip out on the mayo and opt for a squeeze of mustard.
4. String Cheese and Whole Grain Crackers
The tryptophan sourced from cheese can be emptied more efficiently when pairing with whole grain crackers. Going for string cheese can keeps portions moderated and prevents from overeating.
5. Smoked Salmon Bagel
While bagels can be extremely high in calories and carbohydrates, reduce carb content by consuming only half or going for the mini bagels found at most grocers. Choosing whole grain bagels can further provide the body with essential fiber and B vitamins.
Top bagel with a thin slice of smoked salmon, which is packed in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Ensuring adequate vitamin D may be key for weight loss, as a deficiency in the vitamin is linked to obesity. Supplementing with the vitamin shows to decrease weight, body mass index, waist and hip circumferences.
6. Egg Wrap
When hunger calls, why wait to answer in the morning hours? Crack hunger with an egg wrap, which is low in calorie and rich in tryptophan, high-quality protein, vitamin D, choline, selenium, phosphorus, some B vitamins, and antioxidants.
Simply prepare an egg to desired "doneness" and wrap in a low-carb, whole grain tortilla shell. For an extra nutritional punch, add spinach, peppers, and other non-starchy veggies to the wrap.
Bonus Bedtime Snacks for Losing Weight
These healthy bedtime snacks will also have you feeling satisfied and dozed without sacrificing weight loss goals:
Almonds are filled with satiating protein and healthy fat, with research suggesting an almond-enriched low-calorie diet (LCD) is effective in decreasing body weight. Almonds are also rich in magnesium and melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep/wake cycles.
Kiwis are low-calorie while being full of nutrients, fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins C, E, and K. Furthermore, a study published in Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests consuming kiwifruit may improve sleep onset, duration, and efficiency in adults with self-reported sleep disturbances.
9. Greek Yogurt and Berries
While a lot of protein may be a little tough on the stomach prior to bed, a small cup of Greek yogurt can reduce the chance for reaching for that ice-cream pint. Stay cautious of yogurts loaded with added sugars and offer natural sweetness with favorite berries.
10. Cottage Cheese
A protein-filled snack like cottage cheese is the way to go if eager to eat a snack before bed, according to new research. As an added bonus, cottage cheese supplies natural carbohydrate and milk proteins proven to replenish glycogen stores and stimulate muscle growth.
That classic bowl of popcorn can be a healthy movie night snack, just do not load the kernels with oil, butter, and salt. To enhance flavor without popping on calories, sprinkle with savory or sweet seasonings such as a taco packet or cinnamon.
12. Steamed Veggies
Steamed veggies are not only nutritious and low in calorie, but tend to be better digested compared to consuming them raw. If you are desiring a little extra crunch from your veggies, go for easy-to-digest options, including bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini.
13. Rice Cakes
This healthy late night snack for weight loss offers a light crunch without added oils and loads of fat and carbs. Flavor rice cakes with a light spread of favorite nut butter. For added crunch, sprinkle a small spoonful of slivered almonds, pecans, or sunflower seeds.
When that sweet tooth erupts late at night, a cup of unsweetened applesauce with a dash of cinnamon may do the trick. If desiring the crunch, reach for the real deal. The skin of an apple is rich in insoluble fiber and promotes good digestive health.
15. Tart Cherry Juice
The Cherry Marketing Institute reports tart cherry juice may help improve the quality and duration of sleep, reduce the severity of insomnia, and increase overall sleep efficiency. The rich antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherry juice may also reduce muscle damage and pain during strenuous exercise, which is particularly notable in healthy runners.
When it comes to the best late night snacks for weight loss, it is critical to stick to portions and serving sizes. Despite the healthy associations of the foods listed above, excess of each can pack on the calories and lead to weight gain. Try to identify if you are actually feeling hungry or if it is the late night movie watching that is leading to the munchies.