You’ve probably been told that eating before bedtime is a no-no if you’re trying to lose weight. For years this myth has kept hungry dieters and those in fear of packing on the pounds, going to bed with a growling stomach. But in reality, the right nightly nibble won’t add inches to your waistline and may even help you sleep more soundly.
Certain foods have sleep-promoting qualities that boost serotonin production, which helps you ease into slumber. And let’s face it, going to bed on an empty stomach is a recipe for a nighttime disaster plus you’ll be far more likely to overeat later in the day. The key is to include a combination of natural carbohydrates, which boost serotonin production, and protein to help keep your stomach full throughout the night.
The next time you find yourself with a rumbling tummy before you turn in, try one of these five bedtime snacks that won’t make you fat.
Banana with Nut Butter
Bananas are high in magnesium, a natural muscle relaxer. Add a little of your favorite organic nut butter for a protein boost and you’ll have a healthy snack that will satisfy a sweet tooth.
Cottage Cheese with Fruit
Cottage cheese supplies a healthy mix of muscle-building amino acids and protein to keep you fueled and full throughout the night. Top with a few fruit slices to add healthy carbs into the mix. Opt for fresh organic fruit if you can, but often the frozen variety can be just as healthy. Avoid canned fruit as it often contains added sugars.
Organic Cucumber Rounds With Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt contains tryptophan, the amino acid responsible for the post-Thanksgiving meal crash we experience each year. Plus the high protein content will promote muscle repair and growth while keeping your stomach satisfied and the low-calorie cucumber slices add a hydrating crunch that won’t derail your diet.
Organic Popcorn with Parmesan Cheese
Believe it or not, popcorn doesn’t have to be a diet no-no. Opt for non-GMO organic popcorn – pop it yourself on the stove with coconut oil to avoid the dangerous artificial additives found in the microwaveable variety. Top with a dash of Parmesan cheese or try nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor with added B Vitamins and protein.
Baked or Roasted Sweet Potato
If you’re just craving something cooked, opt for a small sweet potato. Bursting with sleep-promoting healthy complex carbs, sweet potatoes are also high in muscle-relaxing potassium. Opt for organic so you can eat the skin and top with some herbs for a filling snack that won’t weigh you down.