If you’re trying to lose weight, adding a late-night meal is probably the last thing on your mind. Sure, you’d like to, but eating before bedtime can’t actually help keep you on track for your weight loss goals, can it?
Surprisingly, yes! Below you’ll find 11 bedtime snacks for weight loss that are not only low calorie (some under 100 per serving) but will also satisfy major cravings like crunch, chocolate, or peanut butter. Many even contain tryptophan, the sleep-inducing amino acid most commonly associated with post-Thanksgiving dinner naps.
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Weight Loss Bedtime Snacks
Baby Carrots: Satisfy your need for something crunchy! At just 4 calories each, baby carrots can be eaten practically to your heart’s content. They’re also packed with Vitamin A, which is key for ensuring good vision and a strong immune system.
A Banana: They’re just about 100 calories, require no prep, and load you up with plenty of fiber and tryptophan to send you off to bed feeling full and sleepy. What’s not to like?
Green Tea: Keep your body burning calories while you sleep by having a cup of green tea before bed. It’s 0 calories per serving, and contains an important antioxidant known as catechin which raises your resting metabolism by 4%. Read more on turning your body into a calorie-burning machine in our article on how to boost your metabolism.
Fat Free Chocolate Pudding Cup: Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to the foods you love. Keep your sweet tooth happy with a fat free chocolate pudding cup (just 100 calories per serving).
An Apple with a Tbsp of Peanut Butter: Indulge your peanut butter craving without the guilt by adding it to apple slices for your late night snack. You’ll get 4g of protein from the peanut butter and 4.4g of dietary fiber from the apple — all at less than 200 calories.
Two Slices of White-Meat Turkey: It’s low-cal (two slices should be 100 calories or less) and packed with tryptophan. Who knew that your crazy uncle who falls asleep on the couch at 3pm every Thanksgiving was a diet guru?
Fat Free Greek Yogurt: At just 100-150 calories, Greek yogurt will send you to bed with a nice late-night dose of protein and tryptophan. It also works to sooth your stomach, making it a particularly great option if you suffer from late-night heartburn or indigestion.
A Bowl of Cereal: No, you probably shouldn’t start pigging out on the sugar-packed offerings your kids enjoy, but a nice whole-grain cereal paired with a cup of skim milk is a tasty, low-cal choice that will give you at least 8 grams of protein, plenty of complex carbs, and even a bit of tryptophan to keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the night.
String Cheese: They’re tasty, convenient, and cheap — and pack less calories than you probably realized (about 80 calories each). More importantly, they’ll give you 8g of protein (almost 20% of your daily requirement) while only adding 1g of carbs. You’ll also get a bit of tryptophan.
Oatmeal: High in fiber (4g) and protein (6g), oatmeal will keep your stomach full throughout the night so you’ll sleep peacefully. The fact that it’s only about 150 calories per serving certainly doesn’t hurt either.
Milk: Whether you opt for skim (90 calories) or whole (150 calories), 1 cup of milk can fit into any diet plan easily. In addition, you’ll get 8g of protein and a nice dose of tryptophan.
Hopefully, this article has given you some tasty ideas for ending your day with a treat while still sticking to your weight loss and fitness goals. If you’re looking for a little more help along your journey, be sure to check out our Diet section and follow us on Pinterest for more!