There can be thousands of reasons why we might feel hungry before bedtime. Which is better: trying to be strong and resist temptation, or giving in to it and filling your stomach with forbidden foods? Well, neither the former nor the latter: there is a simple and easy way to avoid overindulging.
You can avoid waking up at night with hunger in your stomach and the urge to snack if you just do it – not in the middle of the night, but an hour or 30 minutes before bed. Find out exactly what and how much you can eat for a healthy evening snack.
Turkey is one of the best foods for a light and peaceful evening meal. Turkey is rich in top-grade protein and mind-numbing tryptophan, which triggers your body to generate “sleep-promoting” substances: serotonin and melatonin. Two slices of turkey are only about 100 calories, which is just enough for a healthy night snack. Turkey is generally low in fat, but if you want as fewer calories as possible, choose a breast, which is the less caloric part of the turkey.
The best thing about string cheese is that the sticks are individually wrapped, making them easy to measure out. String cheese is traditionally made from semi-skim mozzarella cheese which contains protein, calcium and just a little fat. One stick of string cheese provides about 80 calories. If you drink water or herbal tea with the cheese (or shortly after), it will be enough to satisfy your hunger.
According to the British Cheese Board, string cheese reduces anxiety and promotes healthy sleep. This is due to its high content of tryptophan, an important amino acid found in all dairy products.
While cereal is more like a breakfast meal, there are a few low-calorie brands that are safe to eat at night without worrying about overeating. A serving of Kellogg’s, Kix or General Mills, for example, will provide you with no more than 60 to 100 calories, and that’s even less than a medium-sized red apple. Whole grains are the best option: they’re high in fiber and protein and will give you everything you need to keep you from going hungry before bed.
A medium banana contains only 90 calories and provides you with a wide range of nutrients, including our friend tryptophan, as well as satiating fiber. Eating a banana before bed isn’t really a crime. It won’t make you gain weight because it contains no fat and is full of dietary fiber.
In addition, bananas are high in potassium and magnesium, which are good for the nervous system, brain, tired muscles and heart health.