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14 Guilt-Free

MIDNIGHT SNACK

ts late. You havent eaten in hours. Your stomach


grumbles. And suddenly that pint of Ben and Jerrys
buried in the back of your freezer is calling your name.
You grit your teeth and try to tough it out, but youve
been here before and you know willpower isnt going
to save you. Its like hanging onto the edge of a cliff by
your fingertips. Eventually, you get tired, your resolve
falters, and you fall into a bingegobbling up the whole
pint in a matter of minutes.

Aside from satisfying your late- night cravings, a nice


glass of warm milk can also help you sleep better because of its tryptophan content which stimulates serotonin production in the body and induces sleep. You
can even add vanilla- flavored protein powder to a
cup of skimmed milk and blend the mixture with ice to
make a healthy milkshake[i].

The impulse to have a midnight snack seems so natural. But all of the leading health authorities say its
terrible for you, especially if you want to lose weight.
What gives?
Well, what if I told you theres a way to have the occasional midnight snack and still maintain a healthy
weight, or even burn a few pounds?
The fact is, you can. It just takes a little planning and
knowledge. Today Ill share 14 foods and beverages
that you can snack on at night without worrying about
gaining weight. Replace whatever your usual late night
temptation is with these, and I guarantee youll keep
hunger at bay while maintaining that slim waistline
youre after.

Here Are 14 Guilt Free Midnight Snacks


1. Milk

2. Popcorn
Hand-popped popcorn makes a great midnight snack
as long as you eat the plain kind and stay away from
those with too much salt and flavored powder. Instead,
try sprinkling some red chili powder, cinnamon, or ma-

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sala for a unique flavor. Adding a mixture of cayenne


pepper, and nutritional yeast is another great way of
enjoying your popcorn without feeling guilty or packing on more pounds. Just make sure your popcorn is of
the whole grain variety so its healthier for you[ii].

3.

Breakfast Cereals

You can even throw in some blueberries and strawberries to the mix which are filled with antioxidants and
can do wonders for your body.
You cant go wrong with these healthy snacks as long
as you stay away from anything with too much carbohydrate content as this can cause your blood sugar
levels to shoot up and keep you from sleeping comfortably through the night[iii].

4. Yogurt
A single serving of yogurt contains enough calcium and
vitamin D to meet 20% of your recommended dietary
allowance. It is also packed with protein and has low
sugar content, but can still leave you feeling full. You
can also add some berries, walnuts, flax seeds, and chia
seeds to your snack for that added boost of flavor[iv].

5.

Whole grain breakfast cereals, grains, and oatmeal


may be breakfast food, but that doesnt mean you cant
enjoy them at night, as well. Wheat flakes, muesli, bran
flakes, and rolled oats, among others, are rich in fiber
and protein and are great with yogurt or skimmed milk.

Nuts and Seeds

Aside from having a high antioxidant and fiber content, they can also help stimulate your secretion of serotonin leaving you feeling full and giving you a good
nights sleep. Pistachios are a great choice as they have
a much lower salt content than most processed snacks.
Almonds are another good alternative. Densely packed
with nutrients, they are an excellent way to get your fix
of fiber, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E. Pumpkin
seeds, on the other hand, are a good source of vitamin
B, protein, zinc, iron, and magnesium[v].

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6. Fruits

shavings, and bake them or let them sit in the freezer


until your next hunger pangs hit you late at night.[vii]

Fruits are one of the best things you can snack on when
you get your late- night cravings and hunger pangs.
Aside from their high nutritional value, they are also
quick to eat and require minimal preparation just cut
and peel them and theyre ready to go. For example,
bananas are rich in potassium, which prevent cramps,
and can be eaten as is, spread with peanut butter, or
even dipped in chocolate. Fresh apples are great with
a few tablespoons of peanut butter, almond butter, or
any other nut butter. This
snack tastes best when the
apple is chilled and crisp.
Cantaloupes, like most other
fruits, contain a lot of water,
which means you get lots of
beta- carotene without having to worry about calories.
You can also try raspberries
with yogurt and honey or
strawberries with cream,
which are also a great source of fiber.[vi]

7. Vegetables
Vegetables are high in nutrients, water content, and
antioxidant levels which make them very effective in
preventing dehydration.
Try munching on some
crunchy baby carrots with a
side dip of
non-fat Greek yogurt, garlic
salt, and pepper. Of course,
you can always opt to snack
on other salad veggies like
celery, radishes, broccoli, or
cucumber instead and use
dips like hummus, salsa, or
guacamole. Another tasty
snack would be sliced tomatoes sprinkled with feta and olive oil which is a light
and refreshing way to keep your stomach and taste
buds happy.[viii]

Dried fruits are another great


late-night snack option.

Dried fruits are another great late-night snack option.


Apricots, figs, prunes, and dates are rich in various nutrients and will do wonders for your health. Also, frozen
fruits are tasty and healthy snacks that you can reach
for at night without feeling guilty. If youre not up for
just plain fruit, you can toss them in the blender with
some yogurt and make a low- fat smoothie instead. To
satisfy your sweet tooth, you can also slice up some
bananas, sprinkle them with cinnamon and coconut

8.

Lean Meat Sandwiches

Making yourself a sandwich is another healthy and


guilt- free snack option for your late-night cravings. A
single slice of whole grain bread should be just enough
to keep your tummy filled. You can also spread a bit of

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peanut butter or low- fat cream cheese on the bread to


make it tastier.
Sliced ham, turkey, or any other lean lunch meat will
also make a great healthy filling for your sandwich[ix].
If your hunger pangs are extra strong or youre up for
something a little more indulgent, try adding tomato,
mustard, onion, spinach, lettuce, and avocado to your
lean meat sandwich to tide you over until morning.
Just make sure not to eat too much or your late- night
snack might turn into a full meal, sabotaging your diet.

9.

Cottage Cheese

Not only is cottage cheese filling, but its also packed


with high levels of casein and whey protein which keep
you full and at the same time work to build and repair
your muscle tissues. Snacking on this will really help
your body regenerate itself as you enjoy a good nights
sleep. If you want something extra tasty, you can also
toss in a variety of berries and some walnuts, almonds,
or any other kinds of nuts you prefer[x].
As an extra alternative, you can also snack on a few
sticks of string cheese. These sticks are also rich in protein that rid you of your hunger pangs, and as a little
added bonus, pulling the strings apart as you eat them
is a fun distraction.

10. Eggs
Rich in protein and fats that can keep you full, eggs are
another guilt- free food item you can snack on to battle your midnight cravings. Not only are they quick and
easy to prepare, but they are also very diverse when it
comes to how you can cook and serve them. Omelettes
are a popular choice and can be mixed with onion, peppers, mushrooms, and cheese to make them more flavorful. You can even add in a few extra egg whites to
get more protein.
If youre not quite in the mood for an omelette, you can
try hard- boiled eggs instead. With only 80 calories
each, these are faster and easier to eat and can even

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be prepared in batches.
Boil a whole batch over the weekend and store them in
your fridge to last you an entire week.

12.

Sprouted Tortilla Chips and Homemade Dips

To make your chips tastier and more satisfying, you


can whip up a small serving of homemade dips to go
with them. There are many quick and easy recipes for
dips that you can find online and replicate, including
mango salsa, guacamole, and butter hummus, among
others[xv]. If youre not too keen on chips in the first
place, you can always substitute them with high-fiber
crackers instead.

13.

Nut Butters

Nut butters make a very satisfying treat because they


have a lot of healthy, nutritious ingredients but still
taste like a great dessert. All natural almond butter
makes a great spread, especially on top of a whole grain
bagel. You can even use it as an ingredient for a homemade milkshake if you want something a bit different.

Chips dont always have to be bad for you! Sprouted


tortillas[xiii] cooked in coconut oil are not only healthy,
but delicious too. These tortillas are great because
sprouted grains are much easier for your stomach to
digest and have more nutritious ingredients than regular processed chips. Coconut oil, on the other hand, has
numerous health benefits including better metabolism, more efficient vitamin D and calcium absorption,
lower risk of yeast infections, increased thyroid health,
decreased cholesterol levels, and protection against
flu and infections[xiv].

Peanut butter is another good option. If youre feeling


a little creative, you can make yourself some peanut
butter protein balls and pop them in the freezer until youre ready to eat them. These balls are made of
healthy ingredients including vanilla protein powder,
milk, and dark chocolate. Of course, you can always
use any other kind of nut butter if peanut butter isnt
to your liking and these treats will turn out just as well.
[xvi]
The key is watching your portion size. You dont have
to eat a lot of these nutrient dense snacks to ease your
late night hunger.

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14.

Trail Mix and Granola Bars

A handful of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits make a very


healthy and filling snack. You can find trail mix at almost any grocery store, but you can just as easily make
your own batch as well. This treat contains high levels
of good fats and oils, and is also rich in antioxidants
that do wonders for your body and skin. If you want
something more compact, a granola bar will do just the
trick.[xvii]
And dont forget to drink water. Dehydration is one of
the biggest reasons you feel hungry. You may actually
just be mistaking your thirst for hunger.

Drink a glass of water whenever you feel hungry in the


middle of the night, and your stomach will most likely
settle down. You can also drink a glass right before bed
to avoid waking up in the middle of the night hungry.
If plain water wont cut it for you, try squeezing some
lime or adding a slice of lemon in your glass for added
health benefits. A slice of cucumber will also be good
for your skin[xviii].

References:
[i] Top 10 Ways to Deal with Hunger, Elaine Magee,
MPH, RD, WebMD, Retrieved April 15, 2015.
[ii] 5 Healthy Late-Night Snacks, Sarah-Jane Bedwell,
Self, Published March 12, 2012, Retrieved April 15,
2015.
[iii] Is Eating Cereal At Night Healthy? Mike Samuels,
SF Gate, Retrieved April 15, 2015.
[iv] Is Fat-Free Yogurt Good for a Late Night Snack?
Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D., Livestrong.com, Published
February 20, 2014, Retrieved April 15, 2015.
[v] Can Pumpkin Seeds Help You Lose Weight? Jamie
Logan, Livestrong.com, Published August 24, 2014,
Retrieved April 16, 2015.
[vi] Midnight Snacks for a Diet, Katie Leigh, Livestrong.
com, Published February 16, 2014, Retrieved April 16,
2015.

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[vii] Is Dried Fruit Good For You? Sandi Busch, Livestrong.com, Published January 07, 2014, Retrieved
April 16, 2015.

[viii] Foods That Curb Hunger, Kathleen M. Zelman,


MPH, RD, LD, WebMD, Published September 19,
2007, Retrieved April 18, 2015.

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http://rnblog.rockwellnutrition.com/.

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