One of the reasons for gaining pounds is believed to be eating past 8 p.m. However, in reality, the gaining or losing weight is more linked with what you are eating and how much you are eating. The time when you are eating doesn’t affect your weight if you eat a healthy diet. Many of the experts state that healthful nourishing at night can even offer some surprising benefits. For example, if you eat right protein it helps you build muscle while you sleep or low-glycemic carbs can help control your blood sugar the next day and regulate your appetite.
Here are 16 snacks that are low in calories and can be eaten after 8 p.m. (some are great snacks to have after a light dinner or they are fantastic post-workout snacks for those who work out at night).
- High-Protein “Cake Batter” – CALORIES: 274
It is one of the most popular cakes. People who are on a diet everywhere desire the delicious, rich, creamy consistency and doesn’t need to be off-limits. This version, high in protein will satisfy the late-night cravings — because it contains 19 grams of protein! One possible combination is vanilla protein powder and heavy cream with pumpkin spice, but you can pick some other flavors if you like.
- Coconut-Mango Cream – CALORIES: 171.
Cold and creamy desserts are desired, almost, from everybody! Be careful with the standard store-bought frozen desserts, because they are full of calories and sugar.
We offer you a simple dessert made of frozen mango and coconut milk to make a dish, your and your friends will enjoy it.
For vegan option use vegan protein powder like hemp, pea or brown rice.
- No-Bake Honey Peanut Butter Cookies – CALORIES: 238.
They contain the great flavor combination of peanut butter, chocolate and honey. You can also add plant protein and oats to enrich it with the fiber. It is a good way to prepare miniature muffins as well.
Tip: To cut down on calories, you can divide cookies in a half-size.
- Dark Chocolate
Even the chocolate is often not recommended as a healthy food, not all chocolate is equally unsafe. You should make a difference between your convenience-store chocolate candy and cacao-rich dark chocolate. In the dark chocolate is added less sugar content than in the traditional chocolate.
Dark chocolate provides you with an antioxidant punch, which helps in lowering blood pressure, fights inflammation, improves your mood and insulin sensitivity. So, we recommend you to get an ounce of your favorite dark chocolate (that consists 70 percent cacao or greater).
- BCAA Slushy – CALORIES: 36.
It is a classic childhood treat, however, the adults should avoid these high-sugar mixtures loaded with questionable food colors. We recommend you a better, no-added-sugar version, with a branched-chain amino acid (BCAAs). It helps in stimulating muscle growth and decreasing muscle pain.
- Strawberry-Banana “Ice Cream”
This great late-night treat can provide you with almost 200 calories. The alternative to traditional ice cream can be made of mashed frozen bananas and strawberries, without the added sugars and fat.
You need two very ripe bananas and one cup of strawberries. Sliced bananas and strawberries should be placed in the freezer until frozen, and, after, blend them in a food processor on high until an ice-cream consistency is achieved. So, you got a vegan ice cream!
For some who are interested, there is, even, a special kitchen appliance designed for making banana ice cream – Yonanas machine,
- Pistachios – the slower you eat, the less you will consume
As shelling process requires a time, pistachios in the shell are an excellent nighttime snack. It is consequently slowing down the amount of them that you can eat. This combination of having to eat them slower and getting to eat more makes the pistachios one of the best options.
As nuts come with a unique nutritional value, because they are rich in fiber, vitamin B6, biotin, folate, thiamin, plant sterols, and unsaturated fats they are very satisfying. For something more, you can combine pistachios with the fruit like raspberries or with the goat cheese.
- Not Your Average Milkshake – CALORIES: 307
The creamy milkshakes without excessive calories and fat can be made if you add casein protein powder or a milk protein powder, which is a blend of the other ingredients. The casein acts as a thickener because of the biochemical properties, such anti-catabolic properties, which is preventing muscle breakdown after an intense workout.
This nutrient milkshake provides about 40 grams of protein and one-third of the recommended daily amount of calcium.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cottage Cheese – CALORIES: 313.
When you combine the chocolate and peanut butter, you’ll get one of the best flavors in existence. Those two great flavors, combined along with a creamy texture from cottage cheese can be a real guess for you. It, also provides a high dose of casein protein, which is the slower-digesting milk protein that helps to boost recovery while you sleep when taken later at night.
- Raspberry Greek Yogurt Pops
The alternative for popsicles you can use a simple recipe for frozen Greek yogurt pops. It has a nutritional value with minimal preparation. The Greek yogurt is better than regular yogurt’s, because it is nutritionally superior, with double of the protein and half the carbs per serving.
Recipe: Mix two cups of 2% plain Greek yogurt and three-quarters of a cup of raspberries. This mixture is portioned into Popsicle molds and kept in the freezer for several hours (until completely frozen).
- Pumpkin Seeds
Roasted pumpkin seeds can fulfil a nagging craving and at the same time help you to relax, especially before bedtime. They are providing the body with magnesium (one serving contains almost 50 percent of your recommended intake).
The scientists found that magnesium is an essential mineral that produces more than 300 reactions in your body. The key area of magnesium action is on relaxation, and the snacks with high magnesium level are ideal for helping you calm down at night.
So, take some pumpkin seeds while watching your favorite TV show (recommended is a quarter-cup of roasted pumpkin seeds).
- Warm Milk and Honey
Warm milk is a proven drink that has been used as a remedy for sleeping problems for centuries. According to the experts, the effectiveness of a warm glass of milk for relaxation may be more psychological than physiological.
The honey added to your warm milk will be a booster of the sugar content of your snack, which is easily digested and can stimulate hormones that drive the formation of serotonin. It makes your warm milk effective in your sleep efforts from both, the psychological and physiological perspective.
- Frozen Blueberries
The frozen blueberries are refreshing at the end of the day because they are rich in many high-powered antioxidants.
Blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits, rich in the nutrients that improve brain function and heart health. You can add two tablespoons of cream ups that richness and sweetness of the treat if your body is able to burn those extra calories.
Due to their high fat content, the nuts have been traditionally listed as a snack food for gaining weight. However, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in a 2012 study, found that people who ate almonds lost just as much weight as the people who abstained from eating them, for a period of 18 months.
In addition, almonds improved their total cholesterol and triglycerides, which are two key cardiovascular disease risk factors. There is another advantage of almonds because they are rich in magnesium.
About a quarter-cup of almonds can be snacked on the roasted, raw, or seasoned form by using your favorite spice like chilli powder or curry.
- Berries and Cream
This simple and satisfying dessert, combined with berries and cream is famous desert, but it contains a lot of calories. As an alternative, you can substitute cream with a Greek yogurt, which will still provide you with a high-protein version of this juicy dessert.
Combine half a quarter-cup of blackberries a cup of full-fat plain Greek yogurt and a quarter cup of raspberries to get this healthy dessert.
- Kale Chips – CALORIES: 63.
Kale chips are one of the best salty crunches without the extra fat and calories. Because of its containment of vitamins K, A and C it is the cancer-fighting phytochemicals (carotenoids), which are not contained in potato chips. When they are freshly baked kale chips taste best. You can prepare for a very short time by easily whipping up a bunch while you are preparing dinner and enjoy them later.