Face it, even when you fuel your body with whole grains, lean protein, and fruits and vegetables all day long, sometimes you find yourself raiding the kitchen cabinets at 9 p.m. because you’re starving. Still, when you’re hungry, you’re hungry—and not all bedtime snacks are diet-ruiners; some healthy ones can actually promote sleep, while still keeping your weight-loss goals on track. Try healthy late night snacks that will fill you up, bring on restful sleep, and even help you wake feeling more energized in the morning—all without derailing your healthy-eating efforts. If you wake up scared you might give into to late night cravings, here are some healthy snacks that might help.
Apple With Peanut Butter
Slice up an apple and dip it into one tablespoon of natural peanut butter. The fiber in the apple and the healthy fat in the peanut butter is a combo that will tide you over until wake-up time, says Amy Gorin, R.D.N., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. It’s a very simple snack with great taste.
Per serving: 200 calories, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 28 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 55 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein.
2. Chocolate Pudding Cup
When you’re craving dessert late at night, opt for a single-serve sweet treat like pudding. The milk offers protein, and as long as you’re mindful of the brand, it doesn’t have to be high in sugar. Gorin recommends Kozy Shack Chocolate Pudding since it contains minimal ingredients and additives.
Per serving: 140 calories, 2 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 24 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 140 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.
3. Peach With Non-Fat Cottage Cheese
Jessica Crandall, R.D.N., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says this duo is chock full of filling protein and fiber with the added benefits of calcium and vitamin C. Buy single-serve (four-ounce) cups of cottage cheese to make your healthy late night snack prep super simple.
Per serving: 150 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 23 g sugar, 820 mg sodium, 2.2 g fiber, 25 g protein.
4. Wasabi Almonds
Almonds are high in protein and fiber as well as selenium and magnesium, says Crandall. This is good news for nut lovers, because while the protein and fiber fills you up, the magnesium may help you fall asleep. Choose a bold flavor like wasabi—it really kicks your snack up a notch.
Per serving: 170 calories, 15 g fat (1 g saturated), 6 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 115 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein.
5. Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and fiber; Crandall says topping it with a tablespoon of chia seeds, which are rich in iron and fiber, really gives your healthy late-night snack a powerful punch. You can also use other delicious fresh fruits to add as a topping to your yogurt.
Per serving: 160 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 20 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 65 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 15 g protein.