It is a weekend night and you have just found a good show to watch or an amazing movie to watch, you will likely finish most of your available snacks while watching TV. Unhealthy and mindless eating is most common during the night. “People aren’t eating tofu salads after 9 p.m.,” said Bethany Doerfler, a clinical research dietitian at Northwestern Medicine.
Late-night eating can be the root cause of many problems like slow metabolism, weight gain, indigestion, acid reflux, etc. Eating heavy meals just before going to bed can cause bloating and in turn which affects your sleep quality. “When people eat to the point that they feel full, that can disrupt sleep, and it may even disrupt your REM sleep, and that likely has something to do with influencing dreams,” said Doerfler.
So what should you eat if you crave something at night? Here are some best night snack options according to dietitians and nutritionists, cheese and crackers, trail mix, nuts, peanut butter and apples, greek yoghurt and chia seeds, popcorn without butter and chickpeas.
“Try to limit processed, sugary foods, as these will spike up blood sugars,” said Rahaf Al Bochi, who is a registered dietitian nutritionist, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and owner of Olive Tree Nutrition. “Also, try to avoid fatty, fried foods, spicy or acidic foods, or caffeine, which can all trigger heartburn versus a more neutral snack option.”
“Mindful eating is also getting back to the pleasure component of your meals by taking part in the meal, whether it’s focusing on smell, taste, texture and appearance, but also pacing yourself to savour the way the food tastes when you’re enjoying it,” Doerfler said.