If you feel like you are always trying to lose weight or frequently need to try some sort of new diet, you are not alone. In the United States, over 73% of adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Trying to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight can be extremely difficult for many people.
The convenience, affordability, and addictive nature of high-calorie, highly-processed foods, as well as the stressful and busy lifestyles that many people follow, make it hard to be physically active, follow a nutritious diet, and get enough exercise to lose weight.
Particularly if you get hungry at night or like to have a late-night snack that you can munch on while watching TV or relaxing, it can be helpful to have a list of healthy late night snacks for weight loss to choose from.
In this article, we will share a few ideas for healthy late night snacks for weight loss that you can have on hand the next time you get a hankering for something during the evening hours.
We will cover:
- Why Am I So Hungry Before Bed?
- 12 Ideas for Healthy Late Night Snacks for Weight Loss
Let’s get started!
Why Am I So Hungry Before Bed?
If you are not eating enough during the day and you are in a caloric deficit, you are going to have the munchies at night because your body is trying to urge you to eat more calories.
Even if you don’t have physical hunger at night, emotional hunger or craving for a snack at night is quite common.
For example, stress, whether from physical causes such as strenuous workouts or mental and emotional challenges, increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn, can stimulate appetite.
12 Ideas for Healthy Late Night Snacks for Weight Loss
Here are a few ideas for healthy evening snacks for weight loss when you’re trying to lose weight:
Hummus is a nutritious condiment or dip made from chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil. There are often other flavorful ingredients like lemon juice, garlic, black pepper, and roasted red peppers.
The healthiest option is to dip vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower florets, carrots, celery, pepper strips, cucumbers, and zucchini in hummus because you will get all of the beneficial vitamins and minerals, and fiber in the vegetables with very few calories.
Another low-calorie snack option is to spread hummus on rice cakes or dip mini rice cakes or whole-grain crackers, pretzels, or pita bread into hummus.
Fruit can be a great late night snack for weight loss as long as you aren’t on the keto diet or a very low-carb diet. It’s best to choose low-sugar fruits or to pair the fruit with a little bit of protein and/or fat to improve satiety and prevent spikes in your blood sugar.
For example, pair apple slices or bananas with peanut butter or almond butter, or have a handful of blueberries with almonds or pistachios on the side.
Studies have found that bananas can increase melatonin production, which may help you sleep better.
Other fruits can be particularly good healthy snacks for weight loss at night because they may support sleep. For example, two kiwi fruits only give you 84 calories, but you’ll get 4 grams of fiber and a whopping 142% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C.
Plus, studies suggest that kiwi contains compounds that may help promote better sleep.
#3: Cottage Cheese or Greek Yogurt
A good bedtime snack can be Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with berries, slivered almonds, and a sprinkle of flaxseeds and cinnamon.
Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are both packed with satiating protein, making them filling options for bedtime snacks for weight loss.
For example, a serving of low-fat cottage cheese, which is 4 ounces, has only 80 calories and 14 grams of protein.
Therefore, you can have a full cup and get a whopping 28 grams of protein for only 160 calories.
Plain Greek yogurt provides 23 grams of protein and only 133 calories in one cup (8 ounces or 227 grams).
Dairy products also contain tryptophan, which can promote restful sleep.
A small sprinkle of flaxseeds or Chia seeds will add some protein without adding a significant number of calories, and you can add cinnamon, and low-sugar fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries for a dash of sweetness.
#4: Lean Protein Shake
Making a simple protein shake with unsweetened almond milk and your favorite protein powder is an easy way to make a super quick low-calorie night time snack for weight loss.
You can add half a banana or one tablespoon of nut butter if your calorie needs are higher or you didn’t eat enough during the day.
#5: Zucchini or Sweet Potato Muffins
You can make veggie-packed muffins for a healthy dessert for weight loss.
Use zucchini, sweet potato, or canned pumpkin instead of some of the oil and sugar. You can also add flaxseeds and chia seeds to boost the amount of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
#6: Air-Popped Popcorn
Air-popped popcorn is low-calorie but will give you that satisfying crunch we often crave in a late-night snack when you have the munchies before bed.
Popcorn contains only 30 calories per cup, so you can enjoy a pretty big bowl as you watch TV without downing hundreds of calories as you might with chips, nuts, or crackers.
Plus, popcorn provides a little bit of fiber (about as much as an apple in a 3-cup serving), antioxidants, and polyphenols.
To flavor the popcorn without adding all the calories and fat from oil or butter, try adding a dash of avocado oil and sprinkling the air-popped popcorn with nutritional yeast. This superfood has a Parmesan cheese-like flavor and is packed with B vitamins.
#7: Roasted Chickpeas
Instead of crunching on chips or pretzels, you can oven-roast chickpeas and season them with cinnamon or go the savory route with salt, pepper, garlic powder, or chili powder.
You’ll get protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, making it a healthy weight loss snack.
#8: Low-Fat Chocolate Milk
Low-fat chocolate milk contains protein, carbohydrates, and calcium without a ton of calories.
#9: String Cheese With a Few Nuts or a Piece of Fruit
Most strong cheeses are relatively low-fat and protein-packed.
#10: Mustard With Whole-Grain Pretzels or Veggies
Although mustard likely isn’t going to be a late-night snack food you dump into a large bowl and then enjoy with a spoon, this flavorful condiment is very low in calories.
For this reason, using mustard as a dip or seasoning your food with mustard instead of a calorie-laden sauce like teriyaki sauce, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, peanut sauce, or even ketchup can be a healthier, low-calorie alternative to help you stick within your daily calorie targets.
Plus, you can dip veggies into mustard instead of a calorie-laden dressing like ranch for a healthy late night snack.
The number of calories in a serving of mustard varies depending on the specific type of mustard you are eating and the brand that you choose, but usually, 1 teaspoon (6 g) contains about 3.66 calories.
Like cucumbers, pickles are a very low-calorie food and can be a more appealing snack food than chomping on a cucumber, particularly if you are accustomed to salty snacks like chips and pretzels.
You can also use pickles to add a salty, briny, tangy flavor to sandwiches, burgers, and other dishes instead of higher-calorie toppings like cheese.
Fermented pickles also provide probiotics, which are the beneficial bacteria that reside in your gut and help improve digestion, immune health, and nutrient absorption. Plus, with only about 12 calories per 100 grams of pickles, you can enjoy several pickle spears without adding many calories to your day.
For a more filling, healthy evening snack, pair a few low-sodium pickle spears with an ounce of your favorite cheese.
Cheddar cheese, for example, is quite high in protein, which can help you stay full through the night without consuming a ton of calories.
#12: Sugar-Free Jello
Although certainly not nutritious or recommended as part of a “healthy diet,” one serving (117 grams) of sugar-free jello provides about 23 calories.
However, keep in mind you’ll get no nutritional value, and artificial colors and sweeteners are not healthy, but if you’re craving a very low-calorie late-night sweet snack, this is a potential option.
Before bed, avoid high-sugar snacks like fruit juice, ice cream, cookies, high-sugar fruits like bananas (unless paired with healthy fat and protein like peanut butter or almond butter), candy, pudding, fruit snacks, or sweetened applesauce and sweetened yogurt.
Do you ever feel as though you are eating the necessary meals and snacks throughout the day to feel satisfied and full of energy, but you still feel hungry? If you feel hungry all the time even though you are eating well, let us help you figure out why with our guide: Why Am I Hungry All The Time? 12 Causes Of Constant Hunger.