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Healthy Bedtime Snacks

Healthy, Low-Calorie Snacks Perfect For Bedtime

Think snacking before bed packs on the pounds? You and your cravings will be happy to know that it's a myth that eating in the evening leads to weight gain. As long as the total amount of calories you burn isn't less than the calories you eat, it doesn't matter when you consume those calories, day or night.

While scarfing down an entire plate of loaded nachos or pint of ice cream before calling it a night isn't the way to go, if you need to eat something before bed, make sure you choose foods that don't impair your quality of sleep. As a rule, avoid any spicy foods, citrus fruits, tomato sauce, and other foods that cause indigestion or heartburn. Fatty foods will also hinder your ability to get a good night's rest since they are harder to digest. Avoid huge meals that take a lot of energy to digest, and opt for small snack portions (around 150 calories or fewer) of easily digestible foods instead.

The best snacks to have before bedtime are those that are low in calories but also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which helps the body create niacin and serotonin, the calming feel-good hormone. Bananas are also known for promoting z's, as research shows that potassium is an important mineral for deep sleep. They also contain tryptophan, which will help you drift into dreamland even quicker. Other serotonin-inducing foods include poultry, oats, and honey. So try subbing some of these foods into your late night snack whenever possible. Pairing complex carbohydrates with some protein can make for a nice, light, filling bedtime snack. Here are some healthy options:

  • 1/4 cup plain oatmeal (74 calories) with one extra small mashed banana (73 calories): 147 calories
  • 1/2 cup Barbara's Shredded Oats cereal (88 calories) with 3/4 cup skim milk (68 calories): 156 calories
  • Six-ounce serving of plain nonfat Greek yogurt (100 calories) sprinkled with 1/8 cup Bear Naked Fit Vanilla Almond Crunch Granola (60 calories): 160 calories
  • 1 slice whole-wheat toast (100 calories) topped with half an ounce shredded mozzarella cheese (36 calories): 136 calories
  • Four-inch whole-wheat pita (74 calories) with three slices turkey breast (66 calories): 140 calories
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Grace Hitchcock
karenfarber2710 karenfarber2710 3 years

Yea I don't trust this, and sure you might be able to burn the calories during your sleep, but what about the rest of the calories you had already consumed?

Recipe for disaster!!

jenfro22 jenfro22 4 years
Eating grains any time, day or night, causes inflammation. The idea of "healthy whole grains" is a myth.
NightFood-Bars NightFood-Bars 4 years
Thanks Heather, remember, going to bed hungry is bad, but going to bed on a belly full of heavy junk is worse! Sean Folkson Founder - NightFood, Inc.
Sarah2463011 Sarah2463011 5 years
Who eats like this?  
Rhiannon1223 Rhiannon1223 5 years
I strongly disagree with the idea that corn flakes and rice cakes make good snacks at any time. Both are made from over processed, and in many cases, genetically modified grains and contain artificial ingredients the long term safety of which is questionable.
Delicious-Diets-Design Delicious-Diets-Design 5 years
I place healthy items like cottage cheese, strawberries, grapes, almonds, broccoli, boiled egg whites, popcorn with some salt along with a little real butter (it's a tiny bowl), mangos... even a broth soup. Occasionally I treat myself to 2 pieces of high quality dark chocolate. I make myself a hot cup of herbal tea and relax for the last couple of hours of the day.
Rajagopal2409491 Rajagopal2409491 5 years
Very interesting reading.
tulipsaki tulipsaki 5 years
People who are allergic to ragweed are often allergic to bananas and avocados.  I wish websites like this would give recipes with alternatives to these two fruits.
Kim-Foster-MD Kim-Foster-MD 6 years
When I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (yeah, surprised me, too!) with my last pregnancy, one of the big things that helped me maintain a stable blood sugar was a bedtime snack. Not pregnant anymore (so not diabetic anymore), but I still keep up a practice of healthy bedtime snacking to help maintain my weight. Your suggestions on what to snack on, above, are great! Yummy and healthy.
CoupTessa CoupTessa 6 years
Great snack suggestions for that hunger that always seems to creep up just before bedtime. Now I can practice smart snacking :)
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