Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: February 22, 2021
We have all experienced it. The clock hits 10 p.m and you suddenly get the urge to open up a bag of chips or rummage through your fridge. The good news is, eating late doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
The bad news is, you do need to watch what you are eating. If you do end up eating the wrong foods at night, you could be doing a lot of damage to your weight loss efforts. However, eating the right snacks at night can help you on your mission to lose weight.
Here are some of the best foods that you can eat late at night without ruining your weight loss goals.
My Top Foods To Eat Late At Night For Weight Loss
1. Real Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is one of the best fat-burning foods you can get into your diet. This doesn’t include the commercialized flavored yogurts you find on grocery shelves. You need full-fat and unsweetened Greek Yogurt. By eating Greek yogurt late at night, you will be able to supply your body with much-needed nutrition while you sleep. During your sleep cycle, your body does a lot. Not only does it help your body recover, but it is also when your body builds muscle. This is why it is so important to get quality sleep at night if you want to maximize your strength training gains.
However, you also need to give your body the requisite nutrients it needs to perform these tasks. Full-fat Greek yogurt will give your body the added slow-digesting protein it needs to stimulate protein synthesis and it can keep you from wanting to snack on other things. After all, the yogurt will fill you up very quickly. You can feel free to add dark chocolate to your yogurt for an even better snack that you can look forward to.
2. Nut Butters
Nut butter is one of the best foods you can get into your diet at any time throughout the day. Nut butter is a great option for those who want a satisfying snack that isn’t going to cause you to gain weight. However, keep in mind that you don’t want to consume the nut butter with bread or crackers. Eating simple carbohydrates at night is a ‘no-no’ and should be avoided. Instead, you want to either take spoonfuls of nut butter alone or add it to an apple or vegetable.
This will give you a satisfying snack that you can enjoy and it will keep you full. After all, nut butter is full of protein that your body needs at night and it can supply you with the healthy fats you need to target stored fat in your belly. Ideally, you want to opt for cashew or almond nut butter. However, peanut butter is perfectly acceptable if that’s your favorite.
3. Handful of Pistachios
When you are searching for things to eat at night, there are primarily two things you should be looking for. That is, something that is filling and something nutritious. Pistachios check both of these boxes. Pistachios are not only full of healthy nutrients like protein, but they also happen to contain significant amounts of melatonin . Therefore, you are getting something that is not only filling and nutritious but also something that can prove to help you fall asleep and get higher quality sleep. This alone can be beneficial because it is proven that getting higher quality sleep can lead to better results with your weight loss efforts . A lack of sleep can not only increase appetite, but it can lead you to choose foods that are higher in both calories and carbohydrates .
Both of these things are likely to lead to weight gain.
RELATED READING: Noom’s List of Foods to Eat and Avoid for Weight Loss
4. Casein Protein
Another good option that you could consider if you are looking to lose weight would be to substitute a meal or snack with a protein smoothie. Believe it or not, but drinking a protein smoothie at night will not only curb your hunger cravings but can help to ensure your body doesn’t stall at night. Rather than depriving yourself of food at night, you should be going to bed giving your body everything it needs to maintain a high metabolism as you sleep. As mentioned previously, your body is going to be going through protein synthesis at nighttime.
Therefore, if your body doesn’t have the requisite protein to repair muscles, you will end up losing a lot of the hard work you are putting in the gym. This is why taking a protein supplement before you go to bed is so important for those who work out and who strength train. Without giving your body the protein it needs, it will stunt muscle growth. Likewise, it can even make it so you wake up with sore muscles.
This can further inhibit your ability to continue to lose weight because you will have to take more days off for rest. Instead, you can supply your body with all of the protein it needs at night to ensure that your muscles are repaired as efficiently as possible. A casein protein supplement is a much slower digesting protein supplement than a whey protein supplement. Thus, you should be looking to use a casein protein supplement when you are going to be taking it at night.
5. Cottage Cheese and Blueberries
Cottage cheese is one of the best cheeses you can eat at nighttime. The main reason is that it is full of casein protein. There are numerous reasons as to why adding more protein to your daily diet can contribute to weight loss, but it has been shown that when you follow a diet high in protein, it can lead to less carbohydrate intake and subsequent weight loss because of it .
However, as with a casein supplement above, the cottage cheese is slower digesting. This means your body won’t rapidly digest it causing your insulin to spike and it will be there throughout the night aiding in muscle synthesis. If you aren’t planning on taking a casein supplement before bed, you should strongly consider adding casein protein to your diet by consuming cottage cheese.
Adding blueberries to the cheese will only improve your antioxidant intake without adding too many calories which can help accelerate your body’s repair processes.
Avocados are good consumed whenever. They are especially good at night. Avocados are a well-known superfood so it’s not hard to justify including them in your diet. However, they contain healthy fats that your body needs for repair processes at night. Bust most of all, they are going to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Therefore, you won’t wake up in the middle of the night with nighttime cravings and they will satisfy your hunger in a pinch.
Almonds are a good nut to snack on at night. They aren’t going to add calories to your diet and they are high in vitamin E. They will also add a lot of healthy fat to your diet which can help repair processes. However, most of all, they are very satisfying and a handful of almonds can curb any hunger cravings you may have.
As you can see, eating at night doesn’t have to be a death sentence to your weight loss efforts. When done the right way, eating at night can help you reach your weight loss goals. Use the tips above the next time you get the urge to splurge at night and you should be rewarded for it.
If you’re looking for a program that can help you with your dieting needs, including ideas for nighttime snacks, Noom is a great place to start. Read our review of Noom to learn more.