We all sometimes get an uncontrollable need for late night food. And we can all agree that the struggle to eat healthily is real! We have to battle with the uncontrollable urge to snack, especially at midnight (and we lose the battle most times!). Some late night foods are better than others and it is important to know what you can munch on without feeling too guilty.
Read on to find out why you should avoid some of the midnight snacks you love and some healthy late night snacks to substitute them with…
Why your midnight snack shouldn’t consist of these!
If you are guilty of eating right before you go to bed, you are not alone. Lucky for you, while taking midnight snacks is not the best for your health, we will be looking at healthy and good late night snacks if you do decide to snack and the unhealthy midnight snacks you should avoid at all cost right before you go to bed.
Ditch the sugary cereals!
It can be so easy to munch on a bowl of cereal. However, most of these cereals come fully loaded with refined sugar. These are not healthy late night snacks because they are not great for your waistline. This is not to say you should ditch all cereals. If you are to go for cereal as a good late night snack, make sure it is a bowl of a small-portioned cereal rich in whole grains and fiber.
Don’t even go near fries!
It can be so easy to have a late night delivery of fried foods and wash it down with a chilled drink but resist the temptation. Fried foods like chips, burgers, hot dogs, French fries, among others, are really high in fat. Fries as a late night food or midnight snack will definitely take time to digest and can sometimes give abdominal cramps.
Ice-cream equals obesity
You should repeatedly chant this mantra; “Ice-cream equals obesity” whenever you are tempted to take a scoop of the ice-cream in your freezer as your midnight snack. While it may be extremely comforting and give off a “feel good” vibe, this unhealthy midnight snack is loaded with fats. These will be very hard to burn since it is bedtime.
Leave the left-over pizza alone!
Don’t even look in this direction. It can be easy to microwave pizza and munch on it when the midnight hunger pangs come with all its might. The extra cheese and meat toppings contained in it are as unhealthy as it gets. Asking “what do I want to eat before bed?” Left-over pizza is one of the many unhealthy late night snacks to avoid.
Red meat should remain in the pot till morning
I am aware that meat is an amazing source of protein and helps build muscle tissues. Before you take a juicy bite of red meat as a late night snack, you should know that it is disastrous to your weight and might not let you get a good sleep. This is because you force the digestive system to be active which can be disruptive to your sleep. White meat like turkey or chicken is a much preferable and healthy option.
Stay far away from coffee
This one is for all the coffee lovers in the house. If you want to be up all night, by all means, knock yourself out with this late night food. However, if you want to have a good night, you should remove coffee (which contains caffeine) from your midnight snack plans. If you need a soothing drink, you can replace coffee with warm milk or Greek yogurt.
Avoid dark chocolates
This is indeed a sad choice that had to come on the list. Who doesn’t love a nice bar of dark chocolate to munch on? You should know that these chocolates contain a high amount of sugar, theobromine, and caffeine which can disrupt one’s sleep.
Steer clear from pasta and macaroni
It can be so easy to make pasta or macaroni, as a late night snack right before bed. However, it is not a healthy meal to take right before bedtime. Carbohydrates are converted into fats if you go to bed immediately after eating it. Do not get me started on the ingredients that you may use to garnish the food like oil, cream, sauce, among others which may be high in calories. If you are weight-conscious, you will need to cross these ones off the list.
While it is best practice to avoid midnight snacking altogether, it will not hurt to indulge once in a while when you feel hungry. This is because when hunger is not satiated, it can affect our sleep. If you are like me who sometimes works late and needs to get our munching game on, you should have good late night snacks which will definitely come in handy.
Some easy midnight snacks that are healthy substitutes include, non-caffeinated tea, fruits, cashew nuts, almonds, popcorn (not the kind soaked in milk and sugar), among others. They are quite filling. Always remember to keep the portions light and small if you want to maintain that amazing figure of yours!
Read more healthy food articles on Love Is All Colors health section