What are the best healthy snacks for weight loss to eat before bed? We know that we shouldn’t snack too late at night, but there are times when it can’t be helped. (You worked late and are starving by the time you got home; the kids had a late soccer game and you never had a chance to eat proper dinner; or you just have the munchies and can’t fall asleep because your stomach is growling.)
But before you reach for that pint of ice cream or bag of chips (because you know you’re not gonna stop at just one… or even five), look in your fridge or pantry for these better before-bed healthy snack choices. These snacks are not only be good for your waistline, but they’ll help you drift off to dreamland, too.
1. Handful of almonds and cherry juice
Here’s a yummy combination of foods that are perfect snacks to eat before bed: almonds and cherry juice. Almonds are great for weight loss and are loaded with magnesium, a mineral that’s known for relieving insomnia and helping you relax so you can sleep better. And research has shown that cherry juice can boost melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycles. These two healthy foods are the perfect powerhouse combo for a healthy nighttime snack.
2. Cereal and milk
You don’t have to wait till breakfast to have some cereal and milk. In fact, it’s the perfect nighttime snack. It’s a quick and easy no-fuss snack that’s good for weight loss and for sleep. Studies have shown that dairy products and vitamin D may help with weight loss; and research also shows that dairy products may help boost the production of melatonin. And of course, a whole-grain cereal that’s low in sugar, like other complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber, are known to be excellent weight-loss foods.
Speaking of breakfast foods that are great weight-loss snacks for nighttime, a warm bowl of oatmeal is a perfect belly-filling snack to eat before bed. This powerhouse food has been shown to help keep blood sugar levels in check, reduce cholesterol, and satisfy hunger so that you won’t binge before you head off to sleep. Top with some berries for an added bit of fiber and get some antioxidants to boot.
4. Cheese and crackers
Another great dairy and complex carb combo is cheese and crackers. (Just be sure to limit how much cheese you eat to watch your calorie intake.) Add an apple or a bunch of grapes and you can boost important fiber intake and help you feel full.
5. Yogurt smoothie
When you make a yogurt smoothie, you blend together two very beneficial foods that make a perfect nighttime snack: yogurt and fruit. Yogurt contains protein, which keeps your muscles strong and helps you feel full so that you’re less likely to overeat right before bed, which can cause acid reflux and heartburn—not to mention add on unwanted pounds. (That’s one reason why yogurt can make an excellent snack when a craving hits.) And when you add some colorful berries, you boost your antioxidant intake. Just be sure to use unsweetened plain lowfat yogurt to avoid unnecessary sugar and fat.
There’s a reason why popcorn is the perfect treat for nighttime snacking. The next time you plop down to watch a movie before bed, make some air-popped popcorn. It’s a whole grain and is low in calories (3 cups contain less than 100 calories), which makes it the perfect weight-loss food. Just be sure not to load it with butter or salt, and you’re good to go. And whatever you do, avoid those bags of microwave popcorn, which are loaded with unhealthy fats, salt, and harmful chemicals.