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11 Best Late-Night Snacks if You Feel Hungry

When your stomach starts to grumble during a late-night television marathon, you may additionally wonder if it’s worth grabbing a snack before the next episode. Though you’ve probably heard the old diet trick that says you should never eat after six or late at night, a healthy late-night snack is definitely an okay thing to have, says Abby Langer, R.D., owner of Abby Langer Nutrition and author of Good Food, Bad Diet.




First, be sure to check in with yourself to ensure you’re not just eating out of hunger, boredom, or the power of suggestion (that fast food ad between Hulu episodes looked really tasty). “It's very important to listen to your body and nourish it properly,” says Andrea Mathis, R.D.N., L.D., an Alabama-based dietitian and author of The Complete Book of Smoothies. “Depending on your activity level or your body’s current state, you may need to consume more or less calories. Listening to your body and following those hunger cues will help to provide your body with appropriate nourishment.”


If you’re finding that you’re simply stressed or bored, try to turn to an alternative coping mechanism, like taking a walk or relaxing bath, Mathis says. You may additionally want to check in with how much you’re hydrating and ensure you’re not just a little thirsty, she adds. “A growling or empty feeling in the stomach is often related to hunger, but someone can additionally experience a headache or fatigue which can be a symptom of hunger or mild dehydration,” Mathis says. “To prevent this confusion, be sure to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day, and before you grab those late-night snacks.”


And if your stomach is grumbling and you’re actually hungry, don’t deny your natural need for food. “I might not consume an entire meal late at night, but I'd never tell someone to go to bed hungry,” Langer says. Even if you ate a full dinner, it’s completely possible that your body is actually hungry and needs some extra fuel to keep you going. Staying up later than usual means your body is working and using energy, so you may additionally need more calories than you’re used to, says Jessica Levinson, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.N., creator of the 52-Week Meal Planner: The Complete Guide to Planning Menus, Groceries, Recipes, and More.


1

Cottage Cheese and Berries

Spoon out some creamy cottage cheese with a handful of berries for a tasty treat full of filling fats and fiber, says Langer. She opts for a higher-fat variety to keep her full for longer.


2

Crackers

Grab a box of your favorite cracker made from nut flours and seeds for a boost of fiber, protein, and fat to keep you full until morning, Langer says.


3

Greek Yogurt and Granola

Dig into a bowl of dreamy Greek yogurt and top it off with your favorite granola for a crunchy treat, Langer says. She loves a good homemade granola recipe to bring fat, carbs, protein, and fiber.


4

Homemade Granola Bar

Often full of fiber, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, Langer enjoys a snackable granola bar. She likes to make her own homemade chewy chocolate cherry oat bars to keep the ingredients clean and sugar in check.


5. Snack Bar

If making your own bar seems daunting, Mathis snacks on JOJO’s Dark Chocolate Bars for grab-and-go ease. “Because I usually crave sweet snacks, I enjoy JOJO's Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars. They are low in sugar and contain six grams of protein per serving,” she says.


6

Nuts and Cheese

A burst of protein, fats, and fiber make this the ultimate late night snack, shares Mathis. Plus, it’s easy to throw together, so you don’t need to stay up later than you already are.


7

Eggs

These take a little more effort than your usual snack, but eggs are a great source of protein when you want something (relatively quick) and substantial enough to get you to morning. Mathis loves the high protein you get in each bite. Pair with berries for some extra carbs and fiber.


8

Trail Mix

Have a mixture of dried fruit, dark chocolate, and a variety of nuts at the ready to crush your late night cravings, Mathis suggests. The combo brings a ton of protein, fiber, and healthy fat and is an easy snackable option when hunger strikes.


9

Fresh Fruit and Nut Butter

Grab an apple or banana to pair with your favorite nut butter. This combo often helps crush sweet and salty cravings, and is great to bring fiber, protein, and fat to your snack, Levinson says.


10

Cereal and Milk

Choosing a low-sugar and high-fiber cereal (like Kashi Go Breakfast Cereal) and berries can be a great, comforting snack, Levinson says. She especially likes that milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that the body can use to create hormones that positively impact your sleep-wake cycle.


11

Oatmeal

A warm bowl of oatmeal made with nonfat milk is a fiber-rich snack that additionally has melatonin, which can help with sleep and relaxation, Levinson says. Mix in a sprinkle of cinnamon for some extra flavor and antioxidants.


Originally published: Prevention.com


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