You must have been shocked when you read the title of this article. Could it be? We have been told so many times not to eat after 6pm, but today is your lucky day because I am here to break the news to you that yes, in fact, you are allowed to have a snack before bed! We have yet to find research claiming that a small, protein rich snack before bed that is 150 calories or less will stunt your weight loss efforts. Sometimes we just need to listen to what our bodies need, and if that happens to be a little healthy snack, so be it! After doing some research, the main thing you want to avoid is sugar. Instead, what you want to include in your small snack is lots of protein and some unrefined carbohydrates that are packed with nutritional benefits. These suggestions should keep you on the right track.
Greek yogurt has all that great protein you are looking for. The benefit of protein in your snack is that it not only gives you lasting nourishment, but it also enhances your muscle healing overnight. If you’re doing a workout program or are trying to get exercise in everyday, Greek yogurt can assist in your weight loss goals by ensuring you can jump out of bed in the morning and do Day #2 of your workout with a little less of a hobble.
Greek yogurt differs from regular yogurt, as the Greek variety has significantly less sugar but is much thicker and so much creamier! It’s a win-win situation for your body and your tastebuds.
1 Container (170 g) = 100 Calories
Bananas are a healthy choice for anyone, at any time of the day. They are superstar fruits because they are so high in potassium, something our bodies don’t naturally produce. So munching on a banana at night, is a great idea for getting that boost your body needs.
Potassium improves muscle contractions, nerve impulses, heart rhythm, digestion and so much more. These bodily functions are vital to keeping your body moving and absorbing all the nutrients you are eating to achieve your ideal weight.
1 Medium Banana = 105 Calories
Have you ever tried eating a large bowl of oatmeal? It’s difficult! Why? Because oatmeal is so filling, making it a great bedtime snack. Top with some banana and blueberries, along with some chia seeds and you have yourself one healthy snack.
Oatmeal packs in energy for the next day, boosts heart health and can help prevent diabetes. This is so beneficial for preventing weight gain because a healthy heart means a strong heart that is ready to get your blood pumping and allow you to exercise longer.
1/2 Cup Oats = 150 Calories
Scoop some cottage cheese into a bowl and add some fresh fruit or veggies into the mix, then enjoy! Cottage cheese is not only delicious, but contains something called “casein protein”. Casein proteins has the secret power of slowly releasing proteins (AKA amino acids) into your blood stream so you have a steady flow of energy for a longer period of time. Whether you had a crazy day at work or are running a marathon tomorrow, cottage cheese will help your body prep for, and recover from, from a high energy day. Sometimes we forget how busy we can get at work, and how stressed we can be!
It’s important to have these casein proteins to assist with helping our bodies bounce back and heal form each crazy day. Eating this before bed gives your body an opportunity to absorb these nutritional benefits before another day in the life!
1/2 Cup Cottage Cheese = 81 Calories
When cherries are in season, I could eat a whole bowl of them. The best part is, I don’t need to feel guilty about it because cherries have so many health benefits!
Cherries, as shown in their rich color, are a wonderful source of antioxidants. Antioxidants assist in maintaining heart health and can also reduce your risk of illness, disease and some forms of cancer. Much like the other bedtime snacks mentioned, these benefits contribute to allowing you to continue living a healthy lifestyle – active and packed with healthy food!
1 cup Cherries = 51 Calories
Next time you feel like eating a whole bag of potato chips, try munching on some popcorn instead. Pop a bag of popcorn from the grocery store or pop actual kernels and top with some coconut oil for some healthy fats.
You may not believe this, but popcorn actually has major health benefits! Not only is it a whole grain, but it has more protein and phosphorus than even eggs or spinach (plus you get to eat a lot of it). This sounds like crazy talk, but it’s actually very true. Phosphorus is a key conponent of boosting your metabolism, something we could all benefit from when losing weight! The best part about this, is it kind of feels like a cheat day snack right before you hit the sack.
1 cup Popcorn = 31 Calories
Skipping the carbs and looking for a lighter snack instead? Combining low-fat cheese with some fresh veggies is a great way to get those healthy fats and proteins into your system without anything extra.
A lot of people are scared of fat, but it’s actually a wonderful source of energy, providing it’s not saturated or trans fat. Vegetables are packed with water and antioxidants, along with vitamins and minerals that are vital to your well being. That is why you’ve never heard anyone say “Stop eating so many veggies!”. There are so many benefits, you simply cannot get enough – especially when you’re looking for foods to assist you with weight loss. They are so low in calories, you’ll be able to eat a whole bowl of veggies before bed.
1 Cubic Inch Cheese = 69 Calories + 1 cup carrots = 45 Calories
A kick of protein before bed is a great way to feel satisfied without feeling bloated. Try having some slices of turkey with your favorite low fat cheese for a double dose of protein and you can bet that you won’t hear your stomach grumbling tonight.
Did you know that protein is not only a great source of energy, but the building blocks for building healthy bones, skin, blood and cartilage? When you’re trying to get in shape and lose weight, the last thing you need is an injury that was preventable. With the help of protein, your bones can be solid and strong, ready to take on your daily workouts!
1 slice Turkey deli meat = 29 Calories + 1 Cubic Inch Cheese = 69 Calories
After a busy day at work, at the gym or a fun Saturday, chocolate milk proves to be an ideal recovery drink. Pour it in a glass and drink, or add it to a post workout smoothie along with fruits, nuts, veggies and seeds.
It contains the proper ratio of proteins to carbs that your body needs to recover it’s muscles and energy. You know what this means right? No excuses tomorrow for avoiding your weigh loss workout! If you’re looking for a quick bedtime snack or sip, look no further, chocolate milk is your new best friend.
1 Cup of 1% Chocolate Milk = 158 Calories
Pack your blender with some fruits rich in antioxidants and potassium, such as blueberries, bananas and cherries. Add a scoop of casein protein powder or cottage cheese and add a scoop of coconut oil for some good fat and you will be full in no time!
With antioxidants helping to prevent disease and illness, potassium to help improve digestion and casein protein to ensure you have lasting energy, this smoothie is like taking a delicious, all natural vitamin but afterwards you feel full! The coconut oil will also help you feel full for a longer period of time, ensuring your weight loss efforts are not tossed out the window in a fury of hunger.
1 Small Glass = 150-200 Calories
Eating a handful of these lovely berries with a sprinkle of chia or hemp seeds will fill you up quickly and satisfy your sweet tooth before bed. You can also add them on Greek yogurt if you’re extra hungry tonight.
Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are rich in color because they are rich in antioxidants! They have a lower sugar content so you can be confident they won’t spike your blood sugar levels before bed which is definitely something you want to prevent while losing weight. Sugar quickly turns into fat when too much of it is consumed. This bedtime snack is simple and fantastic for those pursuing weight maintenance or loss.
1 Cup Blueberries = 60 Calories
Make yourself a mini platter of veggies, paired with a scoop of hummus, a chickpea based dip, for a savoury and colorful snack before bed.
We already know that vegetables are packed with antioxidants and water, which prevents inflammation, but did you know that hummus is also an anti-inflammatory food as well? Inflammation is never good when you’re checking the scale for how many pounds you’ve lost, as inflammation can result in bloating. Inflammation leads to a variety of diseases and illnesses, so loading up your plate with veggies and adding a scoop of hummus is a perfect snack that will leave you feel satiated and ready for bed.
1 Tablespoon Hummus = 27 Calories + 1 cup Carrots = 45 Calories
Let me blow your mind a little bit..nuts are actually fruit. Yes, you heard me, FRUIT. You can grab a handful of one type of nuts or munch on a healthy trail mix.
Eating nuts as a bedtime snack will provide your body with tons of protein, good fat and Vitamin E. Vitamin E helps to thicken your hair, balance your cholesterol and hormone levels and can even help with PMS symptoms! Remember that burger you “accidentally” ate (that wasn’t part of your diet plan)? Vitamin E will help balance your cholesterol so that the damage from that cheat meal could be a little bit less significant.
1/4 Cup Walnuts = 183 Calories
Skip having a bowl of Fruit Loops before bed and opt for a healthier alternative. You’ll get whole grains in your cereal, and protein from the milk. It’s the perfect combination to wind down your body before bed, and is even more scrumptious with some fruit on top.
Adding complex carbohydrates into the mix can assist with filling your growling stomach and increases your serotonin levels – it’s the stuff that helps you relax before bed which is very helpful to a good night’s sleep. We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is just as vital to weight maintaining as getting exercise.
1 Cup High Fibre Cereal = Approx. 185 Calories
Slather some nut butter on your whole grain toast right before bed and your stomach will thank you. Slice up some banana to go on top and drizzle with a little maple syrup if you have a sweet tooth you simply can’t resist.
Nut butter is a great source of healthy fats and proteins, while whole grain toast will provide your body with a solid amount of fibre and carbohydrates to help improve your digestion. Proteins will heal those muscles overnight so you can take on Monday with a whole new level of energy. Having lasting energy to get through your upcoming work day, through your workout and through a healthy dinner is vital to your well being.
1 slice whole grain toast = 69 Calories + 1 Tablespoon Almond Butter = 98 Calories