Let’s be real, late night food cravings are inevitable. We all go through the occasional (or frequent) late night hungry meltdown because our stomachs are growling and our attitudes are at an all time high. After eating wholesome and nutrient rich foods all day, the last thing we want to do is ruin our healthy day by indulging in a high sugar and high calorie snack at midnight. I have spent a great amount of time thinking about this list. I feel like it is best if I list four items that I feel are a good “base.” Once you read and understand why I chose them, you can alter and create the list to mold your own path for night snacks.
So this is for my ambitious group of men and women who are trying to avoid the late night hunger games. Research has confirmed the benefits of peppermint tea and curbing appetites. The scent of the mint curbs and suppresses the appetite, so breathe in that peppermint before you sip. In my own experience the fruit teas have spiked my appetite and the mint teas have suppressed my appetite late at night. An after dinner tea routine is a great way to end the day, stay healthy and avoid dessert cravings.
Cheese. Cheese. Cheese. Another reason to love cheese. While I was in college, I started on a strict health kick right before spring break. I remember so distinctly being extremely hungry lying in bed that I knew I would not sleep if I did not eat. I can remember grabbing my laptop and researching “what I can eat late at night that would not completely ruin my diet”. Smile, the answer was CHEESE. I had string cheese in my fridge (or most likely it belonged to one of my seven roommates, sorry don’t be mad if you read this, time heals all) and it worked! The small piece of cheese (1 ounce serving) satisfied my hunger and curved my appetite. Cheese contains the amino acid tryptophan, which will help you to relax and sleep. Cheese will not cause an extreme spike in insulin compared to other foods you may be craving late night. The type of cheese is now on you, but please understand queso does not count.
Do not knock it until you try it! That is how I feel about dried figs. No one craves a handful of “dried figs” and I understand. However, dried figs are naturally super sweet treat. Once you have two figs, your sugar craving will be satisfied. They are a high fiber snack and are lower in calories compared to other dried fruits. Substituting a dried fig for a bowl of ice cream or a handful of Oreos is a smart trade for the waist!
Nuts can be extremely satisfying and remain healthy as long as you do not over indulge. As a late night appetite curve, I suggest you eat just a handful. Pistachios take some labor to eat since you have to peel each nut from the shell which seem to make a handful of pistachios last longer than other nuts. They tend to be more mindfully satisfying for cravings and are full of minerals and vitamins including iron, potassium and magnesium, B-complex vitamins.