8 Healthy Bedtime Snacks
Here are eight healthy bedtime snacks that will make you gain less weight.
Having a snack after 8 p.m. has gotten a bad reputation. The real reason why you gained a few pounds or can't lose weight may have more to do with the types of foods you are eating rather than when you are eating them. If you have a snack at night be sure to choose healthy foods. When you eat the right amount of protein at night you are helping your body build muscle while you are sleeping. When you eat low glycemic carbs at night you are helping your blood sugar for the next day and may even be helping your body regulate your appetite. Here are a few snack suggestions that are okay for you to eat at night. A few are pleasures that aren't so guilty, some are perfect snacks to at night after a light dinner, and some are the perfect snacks after a workout if you work out at night.
1. High-protein Cake Batter
Let's face it we all love cake batter. You don't have to feel guilty if you're on a diet and eat this cake batter since it's a high protein version that satisfies those late night cravings and contains 19 grams of protein. All you need to do is mix vanilla protein powder with heavy cream and there you have it! If you like cake batter with a little spice add pumpkin spice or any flavor you prefer. Remember to choose vegetable-based protein powders because they boost your heart health and don't cause acne.
2. An Unusual Milkshake Alternative
When you have the right protein you can make creamy and thick milkshakes without a lot of extra calories and fat. The key is to use casein protein powder or even a blend of milk protein powder which contains whey and casein. The properties found in casein causes it to thicken milkshakes. Casein also has anti-catabolic properties which help to prevent muscle breakdown after workouts. Overall, this milkshake is a highly nutritious healthy snack with about 40 grams of protein and a third of the daily amount of calcium.
3. Coconut Mango Cream
We all love desserts that are cold and creamy. However, most of the frozen desserts in your local grocery store are loaded with sugar and calories. Here is a great frozen dessert that uses coconut milk and frozen mangos. Blend the coconut milk with the frozen mangos and you're done! If you want to make it a healthier dessert, blend in vegan protein powder.
4. No Bake Honey Peanut Butter Cookies
These cookies are easy to make and have the delicious flavor of peanut butter and chocolate and just a hint of honey. Use manuka honey for even more health benefits. When you add oats you have the fiber and plant protein which makes them very satisfying. You can also use this recipe with mini muffin tins. You only need one muffin tin since this recipe makes eight cookies. If you want to cut back on calories you can make 16 cookies by cutting the eight cookies in half.
Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl until they're homogenous. Use the muffin tin to make cookie-sized pieces and place the servings in the fridge for 60 minutes and when you take them out they'll be ready to eat!
5. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is always the forbidden food on any diet. However, there is a huge nutritional difference from chocolate candy that you buy at your local grocery store and dark chocolate that is rich in cacao. Dark chocolate doesn't have the high sugar content that is found in traditional chocolate. Dark chocolate supplies you with the antioxidants you need which lower blood pressure, fight inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, and put you in a better mood. So the next time you're feeling down at night try eating an ounce of dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent or more cacao.
6. BCAA Slushy
Slushies have long been a favorite childhood treat. However, once we're adults we avoid them since they're high in sugar and food dyes. However, you don't have to worry about either one with this no sugar version that contains BCAAs or chain amino acids which decrease the soreness in muscles and stimulates muscle growth. However, you may want to watch out for brain freeze!
7. Strawbery Banana Ice Cream
Ice cream is the perfect treat to have late at night. However, most ice cream contain close to 200 calories in a cup. This alternative to regular ice cream is made with frozen bananas. Mashed frozen bananas have the same consistency as ice cream without the extra sugar, calories, and fat. Slice two bananas and a cup of strawberries. Put the combination in the freezer until it's frozen. Blend the mixture in a food processor on high until it's like ice cream.
Pistachios are a great snack for late at night because it takes time to shell them slower and you don't eat as many of them. A bonus with pistachios is that since they're small, you can eat more of them per ounce. Since you can eat more and have to eat them slower – it makes these little green nuts one of your best late night options. Nuts, in general, also have fiber, vitamin B6, biotin, folate, thiamin, plant sterols, and unsaturated fats -- making them nutritious and satisfying.