Many diets forbid succumbing to the late night food cravings that all of us experience from time to time. Indulging in late night cravings can lead to weight gain and reduced quality of sleep. But, you may end up getting no sleep at all if those hunger pangs keep you tossing and turning in bed all night. The key to satisfying those cravings without breaking your diet is to eat sensibly and to keep portions small. Eat just enough to alleviate your hunger and also be sure to avoid caffeine and anything with too much sugar.
Why not take that time to eat something healthy and nutritious? Here are 5 snacks to get you steered in the right direction.
Cereal isn't just for breakfast. Cereal composed of whole grains such as wheat, oats, corn or rice would be the ideal choice. Whole grains are a good source of dietary fiber, which leaves you feeling satiated for longer. It also doesn't hurt to add some low-fat or non-fat milk, providing an excellent source of calcium and protein. If you're lactose intolerant, then you can use soy milk, rice milk or Lactaid instead. Read the nutritional label, and try to avoid cereal that is high in sugar.
Fruit is always a good snack, even for late night cravings. It can be enjoyed alone or with another healthy snack, like cereal. Most fruit in general is a great source of dietary fiber, while also providing a wealth of important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C. The health benefits of increased fruit consumption are undeniable. Perhaps an apple or a pear would be enough to keep your stomach happy until morning. Always have fruit handy for snacking in the daytime and for those pesky late night cravings.
Popcorn is light, tastes good and also is a good source of fiber. It's a great snack at the movies, and it's a great snack for late night cravings. Be sure to eat low fat popcorn sans the butter so that you don't consume extra calories and fat.
Nuts such as cashews, peanuts and almonds are high in dietary fiber and provide many beneficial vitamins and minerals. Peanuts, for example, are an excellent source of niacin, folate, magnesium, vitamin E and phosphorus. In general, nuts have a high protein content. They also mix well with fruits in the form of trail mix. This all adds up to make them a great option for satisfying that late night food craving.
A sandwich, minus excessive condiments, also makes a great late night snack. Sandwiches provide an excellent opportunity to combine different healthy snacks that were previously mentioned. For example, a peanut butter sandwich with all-natural fruit preserves using whole grain bread would be utilizing 3 of the 5 recommended snacks, all in one. For this reason, the peanut butter sandwich is very highly recommended for late night cravings and for cravings at any time of the day.
Choose a snack from among these 5 to satisfy your late night cravings, and your dietary goals will remain intact.