In this article, I’ll reveal for you eight of the top bedtime snacks that have assisted my body sculpting success. Because you can’t out-train a bad diet, having a plan for bedtime will be key to achieving the body of your dreams.
Best Bedtime Snacks to Eat Tonight
In my experience, it’s essential to have a bedtime snacking plan. The reason why?
Well, people tend to snack at night for three big reasons:
- If you stay up past 9 or 10pm, it has usually been too long since your last meal (dinner) for you to avoid getting hungry.
- We’re often bored at night, and thus, default to snacking as an “activity” to accompany our Netflix time.
- Decision fatigue kicks in and wehave too little remaining willpower to fight off the cravings.
Really think about this. Have you ever overeaten on ice cream at 10am? Probably not. But, have you done it before at 10pm? Let’s be real. Almost every one of has done this before in our life. Similarly, almost no one orders a large supreme pizza for delivery at 10am. However, more than a few of us have done it before at 10pm.
This is exactly why you need a plan for the best bedtime snacks to curb your cravings.
Why To Have Healthy Bedtime Snacks?
While some people are strict about not eating between dinner and bedtime, I’ve found that most people aren’t good at sticking to this plan.
Personally, I just don’t enjoy this approach, because I find it to be rigid and I often get hungry.
Instead, I’d much rather “budget” some of my daily calories to be consumed near bed in a healthy and smart way. Because I do intensive strength training 4X per week, I also prefer to have the right foods in my system overnight to support recovery and muscle growth.
If you need evidence to trust me, see the photo below. If I look like you want, then listen up. (If I don’t, then find another person who does and see what they have to say!)
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Plus, eating before bed can help reduce blood sugar drops in the morning, as well as help you sleep better at night.
So what are the best bedtime snacks that will leave you satisfied without overloading you with carbs?
8 of the Best Bedtime Snacks
If your focus is on fitness, eating lean protein can help you reveal your six pack, as well as making you less hungry, which can help with weight maintenance.
Eating protein combined with healthy fats may be a good option for a pre-bedtime snack as well, because it will fill you up without the carbs, which of course, you won’t be needing as fuel during your sleep. Protein also reduces your appetite, and keeps you feeling fuller for a longer amount of time.
With that understanding, let’s dive in.
1. Casein Protein
I am sharing my insider “secret” with you here, because I have casein protein every single night before bed. I’ve been doing it for years, ever since I used to have to report to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA, for the U.S. Rugby Team and needed to show up in tip top shape.
Casein protein is slow-digesting protein perfect for facilitating muscle recovery overnight. With 33 grams of standard casein protein powder containing 24 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fat, it’s an awesome pre-bed snack.
You can simply mix your casein protein powder with a little water and drink it like a milkshake, or you can put it in the freezer for a few minutes to get an ice-cream-like experience.
Better yet, you can shake it up with water in a blender bottle and then heat it up like hot cocoa. It tastes delicious and is an amazing bedtime treat.
Hands down, my favorite way to consume casein is as a “hot cocoa” drink, because it is sweet, warm, and allows me to slowly sip on it, so that I don’t end up snacking on other (less ideal) foods.
There are so many different types of veggies that make a great snack on their own, including:
- Baby carrots
- Snap peas
- Sliced bell peppers
- Sweet mini peppers
Veggies are the lowest calorie food group, so this option is great for the folks who want to lose body fat and tighten up their physique.
Vegetables also provide many other health benefits, such as reducing your risk for chronic diseases.
If you are trying to cut calories to drop body fat, but also end up hungry at night, make this your “go to”!
3. No Fat, Plain Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is healthier than regular yogurt because the whey, which contains natural sugar, has been strained out.
I’d strongly recommend that you buy No Fat Plain Greek Yogurt, because it is the healthiest and lowest calorie option.
No Fat Plain Greek Yogurt will give you a tasty, grab-and-go, high-protein food that makes for a simple bedtime snack. Because the sugars have been strained out of the yogurt, Greek yogurt has a tart and delicious taste to it.
If you want to pair it with something sweet without adding too many calories, you can add fresh strawberries. This will also boost its antioxidant profile.
Strawberries are low in carbohydrates compared to most other fruits, so they’re a smart fruit choice if you’re looking to stay (or get) lean.
Other low carbohydrate fruits you could pair are raspberries, blackberries, cantaloupe, or peaches.
4. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is another low-calorie, high protein snack that is great for before bed. In fact, 70% of the calories in cottage cheese are protein-based. It has a very mild flavor, but it is packed with a surprising number of nutrients.
The amino acids produced by cottage cheese are released slowly, making it ideal to eat right before bed. The slow release of amino acids overnight while you are sleeping may reduce the breakdown of the muscles.
Cottage cheese can be eaten as is or with a little chopped fruit on top. (See the low carb fruit recommendations mentioned above.)
A large handful of almonds every day, (around 1.5 oz, or 30-35 nuts) has been shown to stimulate fat burning in your body and prevent cardiometabolic diseases. Almonds are low-carb and have tons of protein and fiber.
Almonds have been shown to be particularly good at targeting belly fat.
This snack is great when you’re hungry but really don’t want to cook or prepare anything. Try to make sure you are getting raw almonds, or roasted without salt, for a lower sodium snack.
The key to note here is that almonds are calorically dense, so pull out one small handful from the bag and only eat that amount.
If you sit in the front of the TV with a bag of almonds in your hand, I guarantee you that they’ll turn into a “domino food” that you won’t stop eating.
If you’re not good with portion control, then count out the number of almonds recommended for one serving and stick to that amount.
6. Nut Butter
Almonds can also be easily swapped for almond butter, which has all the same benefits as plain almonds as long as there aren’t any additives. There are many different types of nut butters to explore.
Cashew butter is slightly lower in fat than other nut butters, and is a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, and magnesium.
Even peanut butter can be a great source of protein in a bedtime snack. When you’re buying your peanut butter, make sure it is the natural kind — no added sugar, corn syrup or oils. The peanut has natural oils and a little bit of natural sweetness, so you won’t miss that extra sugar intake.
Costco has a great Natural Peanut Butter that it sells, as does Trader Joes and several other grocers.
Peanut butter is great with a piece of fruit such as a few apple slices, spread over whole-wheat toast, or drizzled over strawberries, blackberries or raspberries.
You could also try “nature’s PB&J” by taking a piece of whole-wheat or sprouted bread, spreading on some natural nut butter, and topping it with lightly mashed fresh berries, such as raspberries.
Again, the key here is to only have 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter before bed, because nut butters are calorically dense and you won’t need a lot of it to keep you full.
For example, 2 tablespoons of most nut butters are around 200 calories, so don’t double that to 4 tablespoons or you will have accidentally eaten 400 calories right before bed. Yikes.
The key here is to eat a controlled amount of nut butter. If you struggle to do this, then opt for a different bedtime snack.
7. Hummus (with Veggies for Dipping)
Hummus contains almost 8 grams of plant-based protein per serving, is high in fiber, and provides a wealth of nutritional value. It is also one of the easiest vegan snacks to make yourself at home.
To make the simplest version of this snack, you put chickpeas, garlic, and a little olive oil in a food processor and blend it up.
For an added healthy twist, throw out your pita or chips and dip baby carrots into your hummus instead.
You can also eat it with mini sweet peppers, sliced bell peppers, snap peas, raw broccoli, or any other vegetable of your choice!
Most fresh veggies have a touch of natural sweetness that is delicious against the savory flavor of the hummus. The fiber present in veggies will also help to keep you full overnight.
If you’re not hungry, but you find yourself in a snacking mood, then a good habit to get into is to enjoy a cup of tea before bedtime. This gives you something to consume before bed, without any of the downsides of consuming calories or carbs.
Green tea has many health benefits due to the high number of antioxidants. However, it also contains caffeine, so make sure to buy decaf!
Another option is herbal tea, which does not contain caffeine and comes in a variety of flavors.
For bedtime, I would suggest peppermint or chamomile tea, which are known to help you relax and wind down after a long day.
You can also flavor it with lemon if you like, giving it extra zest and flavor.
Best Bedtime Snacks for Weight Loss
When it comes to the best bedtime snacks, what you choose doesn’t have to be bland to be healthy.
I hope this list helped you come up with some ideas for how to keep on track with you physique and weight loss goals, even when you feel “snacky”.
Do you have questions about healthy snacks? Or suggestions that you’d like to share? Drop them in the comments below.