Food To Eat At Night For Weight Loss

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Are you looking for food to eat at night for weight loss? Well, you have come to the right place. First, let me state that I am aware that the title is a little click-baity; however, it needed to be in order to get your attention. On the bright side, the content within this guide is all relevant and very useful towards helping you reach your weight loss goals while preventing yo-yo dieting.

Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks

It’s well after dark and your stomach is rumbling.

The challenge is figuring out what you can eat that’s quick, tasty and won’t cause you to pack on the pounds.

After all, there’s growing scientific evidence that eating too late at night could make weight control harder

Fortunately, if you’re truly hungry, a small, nutrient-rich snack under 200 calories is generally fine at night

Some snacks even contain compounds that may help 

Trail Mix

You can buy trail mix pre-made or purchase your favorite ingredients individually and make your own.

Dried fruits, nuts and seeds are typical healthy choices. Mix them together and pre-portion about one-fourth cup (38 grams) into snack-sized bags or reusable tubs.

Since trail mix ingredients are generally calorie-dense, it’s important to watch your portion size. A one-fourth-cup (38-gram) serving of trail mix averages 173 calories

Besides supplying healthy fats, B vitamins and minerals, certain trail mix add-ins may even support sleep.

For example, walnuts, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries have been noted for their melatonin contents

SUMMARY

Some trail mix ingredients, such as walnuts and dried cranberries, contain sleep-promoting melatonin. A one-fourth-cup (38-gram) serving averages 173 calories, depending on the mix. Measure your trail mix portions to avoid excess calories.

Yogurt

Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium. Long known for keeping your bones strong, this mineral has more recently also been linked to better sleep

Your body needs calcium to make melatonin from the amino acid tryptophan

Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is also rich in protein, particularly casein.

Preliminary studies suggest that consuming casein protein at night may help reduce hunger the next morning

If yogurt is your snack of choice, opt for plain and flavor it with unsweetened fruit, such as berries or peaches.

A 6-ounce (170-gram) container of plain, nonfat yogurt has 94 calories. Mixing in a half cup (74 grams) of blueberries adds 42 calories

SUMMARY

Yogurt is a good source of protein, which helps curb hunger. It’s also rich in calcium, which has been linked to better sleep. A 6-ounce (170-gram) container of plain, nonfat yogurt has only 94 calories.

Whole-Grain Wrap

Tortillas can be filled in any number of ways to satisfy late-night hunger.

For a simple snack, warm one whole-grain tortilla, top it with hummus, unsweetened nut butter or sundried tomato spread, roll it up and enjoy.

A 6-inch (30-gram) tortilla averages 94 calories. Adding 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of hummus increases the number of calories by 25

If you need something a little heartier, try adding leftover chopped chicken breast, leafy greens and dried cranberries.

Chicken is a notable source of tryptophan, which is needed for making melatonin. Dried cranberries supply melatonin as well

SUMMARY

A small, whole-grain tortilla is a blank slate for a healthy late-night snack, at only 94 calories. Just add nutritious toppings or fillings, such as hummus and leftover chicken breast, and enjoy.

Pumpkin Seeds

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of pumpkin seeds has 146 calories and provides 37% of the RDI for magnesium, which has been linked to better sleep

Pumpkin seeds are also rich in tryptophan

Eating some carbs like half an apple or some raisins together with pumpkin seeds encourages your body to route the tryptophan in the seeds to your brain to make melatonin.

In a small, preliminary, one-week study, some participants consumed 250 mg of tryptophan from pumpkin seeds daily, plus carbs in the form of a nutrition bar. These people slept 5% better and spent less time awake

In comparison, people who received 250 mg of supplemental, drug-quality tryptophan powder and carbs in a nutrition bar slept 7% better. A control group who ate a carb-only snack did not report improved sleep quality

Larger studies are needed to confirm these results. Still, it’s encouraging that tryptophan from a food, such as pumpkin seeds, may have a similar effect to pure, supplemental tryptophan.

SUMMARY

Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium and tryptophan, which may help support sleep, particularly when eaten with carbs, such as raisins or fresh fruit. A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of pumpkin seeds has 146 calories.

Edamame

Edamame, which are unripe, green soybeans, can be purchased fresh or frozen.

For a simple, late-night snack, toss fresh or thawed, shelled edamame with a bit of salt and pepper. You don’t even need to cook them. A half-cup (113-gram) serving has 150 calories

Alternatively, you can buy dry-roasted edamame, which is similar to fully mature, roasted soybeans (soy nuts). One-fourth cup (30 grams) has 130 calories

Edamame is a good source of protein, which includes a notable amount of the amino acid tryptophan

To help shuttle the tryptophan to your brain to make melatonin, pair the edamame with carbs.

For example, use edamame instead of garbanzo beans in your favorite hummus recipe and spread it on whole-grain toast or pair dry-roasted edamame with dried fruit.

SUMMARY

Green soybeans, known as edamame, are a good source of protein, including the amino acid tryptophan. Buy them fresh, frozen or dry-roasted. One-half cup (113 grams) of fresh edamame has 150 calories, while dry-roasted edamame are higher in calories.

Eggs

Eggs are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of snacks, depending on how much time and effort you want to put in.

For example, keep some hard-boiled eggs on hand in your refrigerator for a quick snack or to turn them into egg salad as a spread for crackers.

There are also many grain-free, scrambled-egg muffin recipes online. These tasty treats can often be frozen and reheated at a later point in a muffin pan or your microwave.

One large egg has just 72 calories and supplies 6 grams of hunger-satisfying protein, including 83 mg of tryptophan

SUMMARY

You may not think of eggs as a snack, but they’re quick to cook and a good source of protein, which helps tame your hunger. One large egg has just 72 calories.

Strawberries and Brie

If you’re looking for a large snack serving that doesn’t pack a lot of calories, reach for fresh strawberries.

Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and contain a notable amount of melatonin.

One cup (166 grams) of sliced strawberries has only 53 calories. At that rate, you could enjoy two cups and still stay well below the recommended 200-calorie limit for late-night snacks

Alternatively, pair a cup (166 grams) of sliced strawberries with 1 ounce (28 grams) of brie. The cheese adds 94 calories and about 6 grams of hunger-satisfying protein

Keep in mind that brie and other types of soft cheese are not recommended for pregnant women. Eating soft cheese carries a risk of listeria infections, which may cause miscarriage

SUMMARY

Fresh strawberries are great when you want a visually-satisfying, large serving for few calories. Pairing them with brie provides protein to help satisfy hunger longer. One cup (166 grams) of strawberries with a 1-ounce (28-gram) side of brie has only 147 calories.

Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks For When You’re Trying To Lose Weight

healthy snacks

There is nothing more satisfying than sitting down to dinner and enjoying a homemade meal complete with fresh vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. That is, until you get a craving or hankering for a late-night snack. So, what’s the best bedtime munchie to reach for if hunger pangs hit?

Although there is nothing wrong with an after-dinner dessert every now and then or even a mindful snack throughout the day, late-night snacking may not be the best move, especially if you are trying to lose weight. People who ate before bed tended to have higher amounts of body fat compared to those who stopped eating earlier in the evening, a 2017 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found.

But if you constantly find yourself hungry in the eve, there may be a reason for it. May Zhu, MBA, RD, LDN, and founder of Nutrition Happens says: “The most common factor that contributes to late-night cravings is under-eating throughout the day. While you might have just finished a well-balanced meal, it could either be a sign that your body needs additional nutrients and energy or that there was a lack of blood sugar regulation earlier in the day, which can affect hormone balance.”

Zhu IDs two important hormones that regulate our hunger levels: ghrelin and leptin, which influence satiety and hunger. “Remember that our energy needs will vary day to day since several factors like physical activity and sleep can affect both hunger and hormone levels— which means some days you may be hungrier than others,” she says.

Instead of MacGyvering together a late-night snack consisting of whatever you can scrounge up in the kitchen cabinet, stock your fridge, freezer, and pantry with more mindful late-night snacks that are both delicious and nutritious. Some can even help keep your weight-loss goals on track while promoting quality sleep—and couldn’t we all afford more restful Zs anyway?

Whole-grain toast with a scoop of guacamole

Dave’s Killer Bread, 21 Whole Grains Thin-Sliced

Toast a slice of whole-grain bread and top it with two tablespoons of guacamole for healthy fat. Gorin recommends Dave’s Killer Bread Thin-Sliced 21 Whole Grains and Seeds. It comes in at 60 calories a slice and provides satiating protein and fiber.

Per serving: 105 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 15 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 185 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Black olives

Pearls Olives To Go!

When you want to feel full for a very small amount of calories, Gorin suggests reaching for a Pearls Olives to Go! snack cup. They’re perfectly portioned, providing a fueling snack with healthy fats for just about 30 calories.

Per serving: 30 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 2 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 300 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein.

Banana with a handful of sunflower seeds

Directly Above Shot Of Bananas On Wooden Table

Gorin loves pairing a high-fiber banana with two tablespoons of shelled, dry-roasted sunflower seeds. The duo offers filling healthy fats as well as tryptophan, an amino acid that helps your body create melatonin.

Per serving: 150 calories, 4.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 29 g carbs, 15 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein.

Baby carrots

Dish of baby carrots

Gorin recommends a dozen baby carrots for those nights when you want the crunch factor of a bag of potato chips without the added calories. They’re low in cals but high in fiber, so they’ll fill you up better than chips while satisfying your urge to chew on something.

Per serving: 40 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 10 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 95 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein.

Macadamia nuts

Hawaiian BBQ Macadamia Nuts

These flavorful macadamia nuts will fill you up with healthy fats and satisfy your savory snack craving in a major way with their bold BBQ seasoning.

Per serving: 190 calories, 20 g fat (3 g saturated), 5 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 200 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Wheat crackers with low-sodium turkey breast

Homemade crackers in bowl

The protein in the lunch meat will keep you full until your alarm clock goes off, and the whole grains in the wheat crackers are heart-healthy, says Crandall.

Per serving: 178 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 22 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 675 mg sodium, 1.8 g fiber, 11 g protein.

Cooked edamame

Edamame beans in a small bowl

They may not look like much, but edamame beans are high in protein and fiber (a.k.a. filling AF), Crandall says. She recommends seasoning them with garlic and red pepper flakes after cooking.

Per serving: 200 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 60 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 16 g protein.

Veggies and dip

Plant Based Buffalo Style Dip
Good Foods Plant Based Buffalo Style Dip

Grab a container of veggie-packed dip (you would never know this creamy cauliflower based buffalo dip was vegan!), and use a half cup of grape tomatoes as dippers—Gorin says tomatoes offer melatonin to help you sleep.

Per serving: 40 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 3 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 210 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Air-popped popcorn

Popcorn

Steer clear of bags of microwave popcorn—they’re loaded with unnecessary ingredients. Instead, Crandall suggests air-popping your own kernels and sprinkling two cups of popcorn with nutritional yeast or cinnamon for a high-fiber, high-volume healthy late-night snack.

Per serving: 62 calories, 1 g fat (0.1 g saturated), 12 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 2.4 g fiber, 2 g protein.

A pear with cheese

Studio shot of pear slices with cheddar cheese

You really can’t go wrong with a fruit and dairy pairing. Crandall says that cheese is high in calcium and the pear provides filling fiber and immune-boosting vitamin C. A strong cheese, like stilton or goat, is a nice compliment to the subtle flavor of pears.

Per serving: 190 calories, 9 g fat (6 g saturated), 21 g carbs, 14 g sugar, 181 mg sodium, 5.5 g fiber, 7 g protein.

Sweet potato toast

Sweet PotaTOASTS
CAULIPOWER Sweet PotaTOASTS

These pre-cooked sweet potato slices provide a blank canvas for whatever you’re craving: Roast and top with peanut butter and bananas for a sweet treat or avocado, tomato and pesto for a savory vibe.

Per serving: 80 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 30 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein.

A banana oatmeal cookie

Cookie.

For a delicious treat with health benefits, Crandall says to mix half a banana with rolled oats and a tablespoon of cacao nibs, form into two small mounds, flatten a bit on a greased cookie sheet, and bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

This snack takes a little more preparation, but the cookies are packed with fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, and you could even have another for breakfast in the morning.

Per serving: 152 calories, 3 g fat (1.3 g saturated), 29 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4.5 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Late Night Snacks For Weight Loss

1. Dark Chocolate

CALORIES/BLOCKFATS (G)CARBS (G)PROTEIN (G)
271.843.210.21

Why Is It Good For Late Night Snacking?

Dark chocolate is an amazing agent to curb your sweet cravings. But you must consume 75-80% dark chocolate for the benefits. Scientists from Denmark compared the effects of dark chocolate and milk chocolate on appetite. And they found that dark chocolate led to greater satiety, curbed the cravings to eat something sweet, and helped suppress calorie intake

2. Sprouts Salad

CALORIES/BLOCKFATS (G)CARBS (G)PROTEIN (G)
580124

Why Is It Good For Late Night Snacking?

Sprouts contain protein along with easily digestible starch. Sprouting enhances the nutritional composition and makes vitamins and minerals more available to the body. Sprouts are filling and curb binging on processed foods. You can add two tablespoons of yogurt to make it more delicious.

3. Whole Hard-Boiled Egg

CALORIES/BLOCKFATS (G)CARBS (G)PROTEIN (G)
785.30.566.29

Why Is It Good For Late Night Snacking?

Hard-boiled eggs are great sources of protein. And proteins, like good carbs, take time to digest. Having a hard-boiled egg with a little bit of salt and pepper will help curb your hunger and keep you satiated for at least an hour. This low-cal and delicious snack will also help rebuild your muscles if you have worked out in the morning or evening, which will help boost your metabolism.

4. Whole Milk Plain Yogurt

CALORIES/BLOCKFATS (G)CARBS (G)PROTEIN (G)
693.75.23.9

Why Is It Good For Late Night Snacking?

Whole milk plain yogurt is a great late night snack as it has all the goodness of whole milk. It also has good gut bacteria that help in digestion. Scientists recommend consuming whole milk and whole milk products instead of low-fat milk as they keep your satiety levels up and prevent you from overeating. And this results in lower weight gain and central obesity

CALORIES/BLOCKFATS (G)CARBS (G)PROTEIN (G)
520.3112.551.03

Why Are They Good For Late Night Snacking?

Tart cherries are the new broccoli! And they are perfect for midnight snacking as they are low-calorie, nutrient-dense fruits. From fighting cancer to aiding weight loss, tart cherries have innumerable health benefits . The dietary fiber in these cherries helps slow down the transition time in your gut, thereby preventing you from feeling hungry soon. They are also high in melatonin, which helps improve sleep quality 

6. Ricotta Cheese 

CALORIES/BLOCKFATS (G)CARBS (G)PROTEIN (G)
110925

Why Is It Good For Late Night Snacking?

Whole milk ricotta cheese is easy and quick to make at home. All you have to do is boil the milk and add a tablespoon of vinegar or juice of half a lime. The milk solids will separate, which you can separate using a strainer. Add a little bit of salt and enjoy the soft and freshly prepared ricotta cheese. You can also get a pack of it from a trusted brand. Ricotta cheese is rich in milk protein and calcium . Both of these aid weight loss by suppressing appetite and boosting metabolism.

7. Air Popped Popcorn

CALORIES/BLOCKFATS (G)CARBS (G)PROTEIN (G)
310.366.221.04

Why Is It Good For Late Night Snacking?

Air popped popcorn is an amazing snack, especially if you are watching your favorite late night show. It is low in calories and fills you up quickly and keeps your hunger pangs at bay for at least an hour. You can add some spices and salt to give it a unique flavor. But make sure you avoid consuming butter popcorn. Have a small cup of popcorn instead of binging on it as it might add excess carbs and calories.

8. Leftover Chicken Breast 

CALORIES/BLOCKFATS (G)CARBS (G)PROTEIN (G)
1301.46027.25

Why Is It Good For Late Night Snacking?

If you have some leftover skinless chicken breast, go ahead and have it! Because skinless chicken breasts are low in calories and high in protein . And that makes them ideal late night snacks. Just have the chicken breast so that you don’t end up having a meal instead of a snack. The protein in the chicken breast will help curb your hunger and delay the gut transit time, thereby making you feel full.

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