A late night snack is more than okay, there is no use denying yourself if you are feeling hungry, but you need to think very carefully about which snacks you choose. Eating the wrong foods at night will not only add extra calories, it can be a nightmare when it comes to your sleeping habits.
Before you blindly reach for whatever you can find, take a moment to make sure you AREN'T eating off this list:
1. Greasy fat filled foods.
Heavy foods full of fat and grease will make you feel sluggish in the morning. What's worse, is that they make your stomach work overtime to process the food. Skip the fast food, nuts, ice cream or cheesy foods before bed.
2. High-carb or sugary foods.
A little nibble of something sweet might be the bliss that sends you off to peaceful dreams. But if you can't stop yourself and are more likely to eat the better half of a chocolate cake, the rise in blood sugar levels could cause your energy to spike and then drop, leading to a disruption in your sleep. Avoid cake, cookies and desserts as well as carb filled snacks like crackers or white bread. Reach for an apple instead.
3. Red meat and other proteins.
If you eat red meats at night, it will stick to your stomach, slowing digestion and making it more difficult for you to fall asleep. You don't need to avoid all proteins at night but make sure it is lean and the portion is small. Try a cup of yogurt, for example.
4. Spicy foods.
Although spices are good for you in general, they aren't at night. Spicy foods can upset your stomach and the chemicals found in these foods may actually stimulate your senses, making it near impossible to fall asleep.
5. Big portions.
Make sure your late night cravings lead to a late night snack, not a late night meal. Keep the total calories under 200. Not only will this help your body do what it needs to do to fall asleep, it will also give you a peace of mind knowing that you didn't derail all the hard work you did during the day.
Stick with small, light portions. They will calm your cravings and allow you to catch some shut eye. And for the record, you should also avoid alcohol. We hate to break it to you but drinking too much can also keep you up at night.
What are your favourite healthy late night snacks?