We’ve all been there. Or if you’re like me, you’re there pretty much every night. A few hours post dinner, somewhat close to bedtime, a little voice pops into my head and says, “I’m kinda hungry…”
I know we’re not supposed to snack late at night, but how bad can it be, really? Samantha’s Ask Jules email made me wonder: are all nighttime snacks created evil? I asked my friends at Nourish what we should snack on in our jammies.
You’re #BodyGoals and I totally look up to you! I am currently on a fitness journey and wanted to ask what your thoughts are on eating at night? If you do, what are some healthy snacks you can suggest?
Jules and Samantha,
Eating at night is not black and white, but rather depends on what you are eating, and what you’re doing after eating. Going to bed on a full stomach can interrupt sleep and imbalance blood sugars, which isn’t ideal for reaching #bodygoals. Having a light snack that is easy to digest, like a handful of berries, a banana, or slice of wheat toast with some peanut butter, would be ideal if snacking is a must.
If you can, however, I’d recommend a nice mug of hot tea with honey to settle a nighttime snack craving. If you are going to snack at night, the best thing to do following that snack is go for a nice 10-15 minute walk. This helps your muscles uptake the glucose from your food and use it so it doesn’t just mull around your blood stream. It’s also best to avoid eating for two hours before going to sleep, so that your body can sleep more soundly (which will lead to more energy and thus more willpower to eat healthy the following day!).
If that’s not possible or feels out of reach, start slowly. Try avoiding snacking for 30 minutes before bed for a week, then an hour before bed, then 90 minutes, and so on.
If you’re trying to decrease nighttime snacking, the first thing to do is ask yourself: why are you snacking at night? If it’s hunger, then try adding more protein and healthy fat to your dinner. If it’s a sweet tooth, try increasing your dinner portion or having a cup of hot tea or berries. If it’s boredom, try a new hobby that keeps your hands busy, like knitting, reading, coloring, or a DIY project.
If you’re not sure where the reason for your craving stems, drink a full glass of water or tea and wait 20 minutes. If you’re still thinking about a snack, then enjoy it!