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You know the scene. It’s about 8pm and you’re watching your favorite TV show and you start to feel hungry. That dinner you had a few hours ago is long gone and you are looking for a little snack. BUT, you’re on a diet! You’re limiting your carbs and sugars and you’re feeling unsatisfied. Surely there’s a good late night snack you can have. Let’s dig in!
One theory that is commonly heard is that you should not eat too late in the evening or right before bed. So what is considered “too late?” For me, it’s no later than 7pm because I go to bed around 10.This thought does have some merit to it. See, when you eat, your body starts turning your food into fuel. It converts it into energy so you can live an active lifestyle. When you eat the food late at night then go to bed, your body doesn’t have time to use all that energy.
If your body isn’t using the foods you’ve eaten, then it will store it which means it will convert it into fat cells. And isn’t that the purpose of the diet? To get rid of those pesky fat cells! However, a recent trick has shown that this rule of thumb isn’t always true.
Late Night Snack Choices
Some researchers have found that eating certain foods before bed might not be so bad. For example, cottage cheese eaten before bed can actually help you lose weight instead of packing on the pounds. This is because cottage cheese is low in sugar and carbs but is very high in protein. late night snack
This protein-carb ratio is absolutely key for dieting in every aspect of eating but can have an even greater impact on your late night snacks. One cup of cottage cheese contains about 25 grams of protein while only containing about 8 grams of carbs.
This is similar to the ratio found in many protein shakes that athletes may use after a workout. Why? It’s good for increasing your muscle development. Most coaches will encourage their athletes to consume protein post workout to help with building muscle. It is the same scenario for late day snacking. When your body gets a large dose of protein overnight, it uses it to build muscle and break down the fats while you are sleeping.
Cottage cheese on its own might not sound very appealing to some people, but if it does, try pairing it with some avocado. I like to turn mine into a chocolate mousse dessert. (Find the recipe here!) .There are also alternatives if you don’t like cottage cheese that will give you the same effect. late night snack
Obviously, you can have just about any kind of meat, as long as it’s not battered and fried (sorry Bojangles!). Grilled chicken would make a good choice if you wanted something simple yet healthy to eat before bed. Greek yogurt would be another good late night snack as long as it’s not loaded with sugar.
For some people, the best option is to make a protein shake. Powdered whey protein comes in a variety of flavors, from chocolate to strawberry banana. Again, look for one with not a lot of sugar and a good amount of protein. Any additional vitamins and minerals are always an added bonus. Shakes are quick and easy to make, which makes it really good for a quick bedtime snack. This is my favorite protein powder because it’s low in sugar, includes minerals and tastes great! This is another good one that’s soy free.
The best late night snacks are ones that help you go to bed not feeling full, but not feeling hungry either. So, if you’re feeling hungry and it’s close to bedtime, use these tips to keep your diet on track and help you reach your health goals! I’m cheering you on!
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