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Indulging Late Night Cravings: 4 Low Calorie Snacks

Apr 23, 2010

To be a successful dieter, you don’t always have to say “no” to your cravings. Sometimes cravings are just your body’s way of telling you it needs certain nutrition. However, you cannot mindlessly splurge on food whenever wants arise. Some snacks are full of salt, sugar, fat and calories, which can damage your body and cause weight rebounds. Late night snacking is especially risky for weight gain because your natural metabolism is at its slowest before bedtimes. Eating oily, high sweetened or salty snacks late in the evenings can disrupt both your sleep cycles and your weight loss plan. The following are four low calorie healthy snacks that can satisfy your sudden cravings and help you get a sound night of sleep.

1. Fruit

Fruits make the one the best snack ideas at any time of the day. They are all low in calories and are packed with antioxidants and other essential nutrients your body needs for proper function. Having a juicy and sweet tasting fruit like a pear, peach or some berries can quickly relieve your sugar cravings. A small banana or a cup of papaya chunks also make wonderful late night snacks. These fruits are loaded with magnesium, which can help you relax into a better night of sleep. Remember not to have highly acidic or hard to digest fruits like citrus, cantaloupes or pineapples before bedtime, since they can cause acid reflux and damage your upper digestive tract.

2. Nonfat Yogurt

Yogurts also make a healthy snack. Nonfat yogurts work especially well to satisfy your evening cravings for something sweet and creamy. Almost all brands of nonfat yogurts have fewer than 100 calories. They are easily digestible and are high in the amino acid tryptophan, calcium and vitamin D, which are very conducive to sleep. The live and active probiotic cultures in yogurts can trigger the production of anti-stress hormones, promote faster digestion and help reduce blood pressure. These qualities make yogurts a great aid for weight loss and insomnia.

3. Sugar-Free Chocolate Pudding

When you have a sudden crave for chocolate, it usually means that your body is low on magnesium and iron. Unfortunately, you cannot just indulge in a chocolate bar to refill on these nutrients. Chocolates are very fattening and are especially high in the plaque forming saturated fat. Chocolate candies or desserts are also highly sugary and are loaded with calories, and snacking on these before bedtime is suicide for diets. Sugar-free chocolate puddings are rich and satisfying in taste and are the ideal solution for chocolate cravings. The best thing about sugar-free chocolate puddings is that they only contain about 60 to 70 calories per serving with only 1 or 2 grams of fat.

4. Oatmeal

If you feel hungry late in the evenings, the best stomach filler is a small cup of oatmeal. You can buy the instant oats packages from brand names like Quakers or cook a couple of spoonful in your microwave. Oatmeal is low in calories and fat and is highly nutritious with lots of complex carbohydrates, essential vitamins and minerals. Having a small serving of oatmeal can relieve you of hunger and sooth your mind for a better night of sleep.

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