Guilty Pleasures: HEALTHY Late-night Snacks for You to Binge On

Healthy late-night snack - Yogurt parfait
We've all crawled into the kitchen looking for some grub late at night and worrying about calories thereafter. What we need are some delicious but healthy snacks that can be enjoyed late at night, to control the calories, and to satisfy our cravings. Seems like having the best of both worlds. Doesn't it?
Most of us are in the habit of staying up late, either working, reading, watching T.V., or busy with some or the other activity. Whatever the reason may be, very often you can hear your stomach growling in the midst of those late nights. It is true that most of our late night food cravings stem from boredom or the mere desire to take a break from the activity we are engaged in, or to add to it. Sometimes though, they are genuine and may occur because of early dinner, dehydration, low salt levels, or low sugar levels, or lack of proteins. In any case, our hunger needs to be satisfied. So why not opt for some healthy late-night snacks and save on those calories which collect easily and quickly late at night?
Healthy Snack Ideas for Late Nights
You can choose your late-night snacks depending upon your mood, like refreshing or comforting, quick or sweet, munchy or satisfying. Just remember to consume them in small portions (say 1 roll or 1 bowl). This is because no matter how healthy you may perceive these snacks to be at that hour, they are still likely to make you feel very heavy at night if consumed in larger portions.
Protein-rich Snacks
Sandwich with cottage cheese, radish, black pepper and cucumber
➠ Mix together some chopped tomatoes and red onions with zucchini and low-fat cottage cheese. Add the final touch with a little salsa.

➠ In some low-fat hummus, add some diced cooked chicken, and with some shredded lettuce, stuff it into whole-grain pita bread.

➠ Toss together some diced cucumber, radish, and low-fat cottage cheese topped with some olive oil and seasoned with some herbs like oregano.
Comforting Snacks
Healthy breakfast. Fresh granola, muesli with berries, honey and milk
➠ Add some honey and walnuts to a bowl of oats with milk to enjoy a warm, comforting snack.

➠ Indulge in a savory bean wrap by mashing some beans with salsa. Spread it on a whole-wheat tortilla and sprinkle with some low-fat cheese. Wrap it up and heat until the cheese melts.

➠ Add some dark chocolate mix to a glass of steaming hot skimmed milk and revel in its warmth.

➠ Spread some olive paste on a whole-wheat tortilla, and add some shredded chicken and lettuce to it. Make it a yummy wrap!
Refreshing Snacks
Bunch of sliced watermelons
➠ Indulge in some chilled watermelon wedges seasoned with a little salt and pepper.

➠ Add to a club soda any unsweetened juice of your choice and top it with some crushed ice for the ultimate cool and refreshing drink.

➠ Create your own granita with some freshly squeezed juice.

➠ Add to a glass of tomato juice, some salt, pepper, and a dash of lemon to give it the perfect flavor.
Crunchy Snacks
Mix nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts)
➠ Scoop out the center of a cucumber and stuff it with some hummus for a crunchy late night snack.

➠ Try out some vegetable sticks with some low-fat ranch dressing.

➠ Have a handful of some nuts such as almonds, soy, and walnuts. You can also add very few raisins to these.

➠ Spread some low-fat cream cheese on a whole-grain cracker with some salmon.
Sweet Snacks
Elevated view of a bowl of fruit topped with ice cream
➠ Enjoy some diced apple dipped in low-fat plain yogurt. Add in some homemade granola to enhance the taste.

➠ Have a fresh fruit salad topped with some low-fat cream.

➠ Go for a whole-grain toast with some almond butter topped with a few sliced apples.
Tips on Choosing Healthy Snacks for those Late Nights
Now, in your state of craving and hunger you are likely to end up reaching for whatever is in sight, without giving a thought about whether it is healthy or not, particularly as a snack at night. But before you do, stop just for a moment and think about what you should be eating rather than what you want to eat. Here are some tips on choosing the right snack for those late nights.

➠ The first thing to do when you feel hungry late at night is to drink some water, only because dehydration is one of the prime reasons for late-night hunger and cravings. If that still does not suffice, head to the kitchen for some healthy goodies.

➠ Decide what it is you want to eat - sweet or salty, or perhaps, spicy. Just ensure you do not consume anything too heavy, otherwise the discomfort after eating such foods while sleeping will make you miserable.

➠ While it is ideal to consume protein-rich foods, you may consume foods that contain healthy carbohydrates such as multigrain bread, oats, and the like.

➠ If you have a special 'late-night snack corner' in your kitchen, it will make it easier for you to make choices at that hour. It can be full of healthy snack choices for the night, and does not require you to stress yourself thinking about what's good and what's bad for you at that hour.

Once again, when you decide to give in to your late-night craving make sure it is healthy and light, as eating too much at night can also affect your appetite for breakfast, which should not be skipped at any cost. The snacks mentioned above are light and are great for those who have to work through long nights. Keep the portions small, and you will thoroughly be able to enjoy them without the guilt!
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