I always thought that snacking after dinner packed on the pounds, but after learning that eating in the evening will lead to weight gain is a myth, I'm back to my happy-snacking ways.
Knowing that eating after dinner isn't completely off limits doesn't mean you should scarf down a plate of loaded nachos before calling it a night, but if you need to eat something before bed, make sure to make the right choices by avoiding foods that can impair your quality of sleep. As a rule, avoid any spicy foods, citrus fruits, tomato sauce, and other foods that cause indigestion and possibly heartburn as well. In addition to spicy foods, fatty foods will also hinder your ability to get a good night's rest since they are harder on your digestive system, and therefore making it more difficult to sleep. Opt for small snack portions (200 calories or less) of easily digestible foods instead.
To learn about some healthy bedtime snacks that will also help you sleep better, keep reading!
The best snacks to have before bedtime are those that are low in calories, but also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which helps the body create niacin and serotonin (the calming "feel-good") hormone. Pairing carbohydrates with some protein can make for a nice light bedtime snack. Here are some healthy options:
- 1 cup of plain oatmeal with 1 sliced banana (171 calories)
- 1 cup of Corn Flakes with 1 cup of fat-free skim milk (192 calories)
- 1 banana with 1 tablespoon of creamy no salt peanut butter (184 calories)
- 1 slice of whole wheat toast topped with 1 small slice of low-fat cheddar cheese (117 calories)
- 1 rice cake topped with 1 tomato slice and 1 slice turkey breast (60 calories)
Bananas are also known for promoting sleep, as research shows that potassium is an important mineral for deep sleep. They also contain tryptophan, which will help you drift into dreamland even quicker. Other serotonin-inducing foods include poultry, oats, and honey. So try subbing-in some of these foods into your late night snack whenever possible.