It's not easy to fall asleep with a growling stomach, and it's harder to ignore the temptation to snack when you're watching what you eat! Yes, the myth that late night snacking is bad for your bod has been proven false, but it's still important to curb the hunger pangs with something healthy. Thankfully, if you're a late night snacker, there are plenty of snack options for you to fight the hunger at night but keep you on track with eating healthy.
A light snack will be your best before-bed option. If you overeat before bed, your body is more likely to store those calories as fat. If you consume as many calories during your late night munch as you do during dinner, it's time to reevaluate your snack habit!
Eating a healthy, hearty dinner to tide your body over is important. If you forgo dinner to feed the kids or help them finish homework, you are more likely to give into the snack cravings at night. A balanced dinner includes enough fiber and protein to nourish your body and sustain you for a good few hours. A light snack may be all you need later to curb that desire for another bite.
Are you munching out of habit instead of hunger? If you aren't hungry for a snack after dinner, don't eat one! Your body will tell you when it's hungry. Unless your stomach is grumbling, stay out of the kitchen!
Here are a few healthy suggestions to replace your usual midnight snack.
Instead of ice cream: It's easy to grab the pint of mint chocolate chip out of the freezer, but blink twice and it could be halfway gone. Instead, pick out something creamy, cool, and slightly sweet to snack on. Try a serving of plain or greek yogurt topped with a drizzle of honey and a few berries. Or, better yet, make Blueberry Smoothie Pops from our friends at Good Life Eats. It's a perfect, single-serving snack that will taste and feel as good as an ice cream treat--without the guilt!
Instead of chips: Chips satisfy your craving for something crunchy and salty, but stay away! Air-popped popcorn provides the perfect, satisfying crunch and does not contain all of the fat and calories of regular chips. Avoid bagged microwave popcorn. While convenient, microwave popcorn can also pack fat and calories equal to that in a serving of chips. If air-popped popcorn still seems a little plain, jazz it up with a few healthy topping options, or if you have a little extra prep time, try our Skinny Baked Sweet Potato Chips. One serving comes in at just over 100 calories!
Instead of peanut butter: Yes, peanut butter contains healthy fats, but grabbing a spoon and dipping into the jar will also fill you up with a lot of calories. Get that rich, nutty flavor you love, plus a little extra protein, in our PB and Fruit Protein Balls. A serving of trail mix is also a great option to take the place of your peanut butter snack. Here is a list of 12 Healthier Trail Mix options if you need some inspiration.
Instead of grilled cheese: Put down the processed cheese slices! Grilled cheese is one of the ultimate comfort foods, but that gooey sandwich, while simple to make, will overwhelm you with too many calories. Instead, opt for a whole wheat or multigrain cracker spread with a wedge of light Laughing Cow cheese. Add veggies such as cucumber or tomato for another level of flavor. Still stuck on having a sandwich? Try this Open Faced Greek Sandwich for a lighter sandwich option.
Instead of chocolate: Actually, chocolate is okay! However, it has to be the right kind of chocolate. Instead of a handful of chocolate candies, two squares of dark chocolate will satisfy your chocolate craving, plus have significantly less sugar and more antioxidants. It's hard to go wrong when you combine chocolate and fruit. These Skinny Chocolate Stuffed Raspberries are a chocolate lover's delight!
Need more healthy snack ideas? Visit the Skinny Mom Snack Index for inspiration.