Healthy Snacks at Night
I had an interesting observation when thinking about the psyche of eating healthy during the day. Most of us do our best to be very health-conscious during the day and then at night we break down and think “I’ve been good all day, so it won’t kill me if I have…” substitute your junk food of choice here! It might be ice cream, popcorn, chips or even something high in carbs like cereal (by the way, why do a lot of women like to eat cereal at night?).
Something ringing a warning bell here? I hope this article exposes this problem, but first let’s look at why this thinking is what is causing all our hard work to go to waist…I mean waste!
Let me take a few steps back and state that I can’t think how many times I’ve heard of people saying to me that they’ve heard that they should not eat anything after 7pm, as if that’s the secret that all fitness models use to stay fit and lean. I can’t stress how wrong this thinking is. Let’s look at why…
First of all, this is an unreal expectation, our body requires cycles of energy when we are awake and starving yourself after 7pm is just going to make you fail and feel miserable about yourself. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, you may have been eating healthy all day but it may have lacked the calories, vitamins, minerals your body needed so you start getting hunger pains around 8 or 9pm. What’s the solution?
Well there are different solutions depending on the goals that you have. In this issue I’m going to talk about the solution for men and women looking to lean out. In the next edition, I’m going to talk about healthy night time snacks when you are wanting to increase your overall muscle size and strength (stay tuned that will come soon).
Healthy Night Time Snacks for Leaning Out
Ok, so snacks like popcorn, cereal and even ice cream are going to be the wrong choices at night if you are looking to lean out. Popcorn, cereal and most low-fat ice cream are all high in carbohydrates. Eating carbohydrates in the morning is great because your body is going to use that as a source of energy for you throughout the day. However, having these at night is a bad idea because you will be sleeping shortly thereafter and your body will just store them as fat.
So what do we replace these with? Fruit should be your number one choice. Especially fruits such as oranges, plums, cherries, and any other berries. These are lower in natural sugars (aka fructose) than fruits such as bananas, apples and melons. With that said, be creative! Make a fruit salad and have a small cup each night to keep things interesting.
Another great idea as healthy snack is to combine reduced-sugar vanilla yogurt with some fruit and a couple teaspoons of high fibre cereal (if you just can’t give cereal up!).
What about something salty? How about some low fat cream cheese on celery or broccoli? Nuts and seeds are another great idea even though they are high in fats, they are the good kind of fats (Omega 3’s). Just make sure to get them as plain as possible in the grocery store…but….at home take a handful of almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds and sprinkle some coarse black pepper, Cajun spices, or any other of your favourite spice/herb and bake them for 15mins. Trust me on this one, much tastier and healthier for you than microwaveable popcorn or even pretzels (which usually contain corn syrup).
Still not satisfied? try having non-caffeinated teas at night if you feel like fruits/veggies are not enough. You can get lots of great flavoured organic teas these days that not only taste great but also will help calm you down and prepare you for sleep.
One of the final things I will mention is about supplements you can take you at night to help you sleep and recover from your workouts better…
Recommended Supplements at Night:
- Scivation Xtend – BCAA’s are the building block amino acids your muscles need to recover, and no better time to recover then while having a good sleep.
- NOW ZMA – the Zinc Magnesium & Vitamin B6 combination is truly revered by athletes who are wanting quicker cellular growth and tissue repair while at the same time needing a stronger immune system.
- Optimum Nutrition Glucoasmine – Glucosamine is well known for helping your joints be well lubricated machines that can help you train hard and prevent/fix knee and shoulder injuries, and this supplement will do just that while you sleep.
Next time you’re at a grocery store pick up some your favourite fruit rather than popcorn, chips, ice cream. You may want to try some organic fruit to see if they have more flavour and keep you satisfied. Seeds and nuts or veggies are other great night time snacks that should keep you satisfied until morning which is when you should be have something like cereal or oatmeal to provide your body with lots of energy throughout the day.
Give these a try and let us know the results that you get. Have any other healthy night time snacks you’d like to suggest?