You’ve eaten sensibly all day, but around bedtime you get the urge to snack. Sweets like cookies and ice cream do more than throw your diet a nasty curve, the sugar rush can leave you tossing and turning for hours. However, a well-chosen bedtime snack can be healthy, weight-friendly, and even help you get a good night’s sleep.
Banana and Almond Butter
A small banana with a tablespoon of almond butter is tasty, easy on calories, and very filling. Plus, bananas are high in potassium - a natural muscle relaxant – and almond butter is high in magnesium and calcium, nutrients known to induce sleepiness.
Turkey Roll Ups and Whole Grain Crackers
Deli-style turkey slices are low in calories and a good source of lean protein – helpful for building healthy muscle. Turkey also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that makes you sleepy. Roll up a few slices and enjoy with some whole grain crackers for satisfying crunch and belly-filling fiber, without a lot of calories.
Greek Yogurt and Mixed Berries
When you want something cool and creamy, instead of ice cream grab a cup of plain Greek yogurt and mix in ½ cup of mixed berries. The calcium in the yogurt contains the same amino acid the body uses to produce melatonin, a natural hormone known for inducing restful sleep. Sweet, filling raspberries and strawberries are loaded with vitamin B6, which also stimulates melatonin production.
Apple and Low-Fat Cheese
A small apple cut into wedges is naturally sweet and full of fiber, which makes this nutritious fruit very filling. Pair it with a stick of low-fat string cheese or a wedge of low-fat Laughing Cow cheese, which contains healthy protein, calcium and that bedtime friend tryptophan.
Unsalted Almonds or Pistachios
A handful of these nuts not only provide a welcome boost of protein and healthy fat, they are also a good source of magnesium that promotes melatonin production. Pistachios are especially good for hungry dieters because a half-ounce, 100-calorie serving is about 25 nuts, and cracking each one from its shell makes this a snack you’ll enjoy an extra-long time.
For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber and The F-Factor Diet. Follow Tanya on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and subscribe to her free weekly weight loss newsletter.