Evening Snacking the Right Way
Snacking is something that we cannot avoid. When you get hungry during the day, it is perfectly natural to start browsing around for something delicious to satisfy your cravings. Because our meals are generally divided into 3 separate dining sessions; breakfast, lunch and dinner, we tend to want to avoid eating between those sessions. This is not practical for most people and many studies have shown that more small meals each day can be healthier for the human body than those 3 large meals. So, snacking is important and can be considered a healthy habit, but when should we snack and what snack foods should we choose?
A mid-morning snack is the least common when it comes to snacking. Most of us are busy at our jobs during this time of the day, making it hard to step away for a snack. Mid-afternoon snacking is more common and causes us to choose something quick, since we are already planning for our dinner meal. Evening snacking or after dinner snacking is one of the most difficult of the snacking times to control. After dinner and before bed, many people crave sugary foods or fattening items like potato chips. Controlling that evening snacking is one of the more difficult things to learn when it comes to nutrition issues.
Evening snacking does not have to be terrible for your body, but it does have to be strictly controlled. Eating late tends to disrupt our natural sleep habits. Going to bed on a full stomach can cause heartburn or other gastrointestinal disorders. Eating foods that are filled with sugar or fat prior to bedtime can cause stomach upset or sleeplessness. So picking the right snack before bedtime is truly imperative. If it is possible to avoid evening snacking, that is definitely your best option. Eating a dinner meal that is filled with high quality protein allows you to feel full longer, so choose lean meats at dinnertime and you will be less likely to crave a snack before bed.
If you must have an evening snack, choose the snack wisely. There are plenty of excellent options for evening snacking, but you will need to create a snacking menu. Gather the types of foods that provide healthy snacks and you will be less likely to eat a bag of potato chips before going to bed. Drink a large glass of water before you eat your evening snack and you will tend to eat less total food. Water with lemon or just plain water is filling and will leave less room for the snacks. Caffeine-free tea is another great option for evening snacking. Flavored teas come in such a large variety and offer enough sweet taste that you might skip food altogether if you choose a cup of tea prior to snacking. Peach teas and lemon teas are a favorite for evening. Camomile tea is excellent in promoting healthy sleep and a cup of this tea contains very few calories and little or no sugar.
If you do have to have some food before bedtime, pick foods that are good for your body. Of course, start with the fruits and vegetables. Avoid the sugary fruits like oranges and apples to keep your blood sugar at a resting state prior to bedtime. Also try to avoid salty foods that will cause your blood pressure to increase and make you thirsty during the night. Skip the potato chips and cookies and look in the pantry for fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat a banana or a handful of raw nuts and you will feel satisfied without ruining the quality of your food intake for the day. Nutrition is often supplemented by healthy snacks, so keep that in mind when choosing your snacking options. If you know that you do not get enough potassium in your diet, then a banana is the perfect snack for you at bedtime. The same rule applies for people who lack calcium, vitamins or minerals in their diet. These items can be replenished during healthy evening snacking. A handful of blueberries or blackberries and some frozen orange juice sherbet can add a huge amount of vitamin C to your diet without a bunch of calories and fat.
Protein snacking tends to make you feel full the longest. Nuts are an excellent source of protein and a small amount will make you feel full for a longer period of time than a larger amount of almost any other snack option. A slice of whole grain toast with peanut butter is another good snack option as it dense in nutrients and contains enough protein to keep you feeling full. Remember that when you do eat prior to going to bed, your body has to work to digest the food. This can be disruptive to your sleep. Many people feel that they sleep better if they do not eat for several hours before going to bed.
A small cup of yogurt or some string cheese can also become a good snacking option for the evening. Both yogurt and cheese provide healthy fat and calcium, something many people do not get enough of during their daily diet. Make your own mix of raw nuts and whole grain cereal and you have a crunchy snack that does not cost a fortune and will not ruin your caloric intake for the day. Top a few crackers with some tuna fish or low fat cream cheese for another quick and easy evening snack. Protein and whole grains are always an excellent snacking option, no matter what time you choose to eat.
By avoiding evening snacks that elevate your blood sugar or include too much fat or sodium, you can eat without causing your body any real harm. Snacking is only bad for you when it is done incorrectly. Keep in mind that late night snacking can cause sleep disruptions, so if you are not a good sleeper already, avoiding late night snacks is generally a plus. Remember to choose only healthy foods and foods that require little preparation for your snacking and you will be well on your way to a much healthier lifestyle.
Eating healthy snacks, making dieting easy!
At Tavva Kitchen we’re passionate about providing the highest quality products with a focus on simple and easy solutions to create daily healthy eating habits.
We believe that the most important factor in achieving weight-loss success is to find a way to cope with your cravings. Our stainless steel storage containers with silicone lids make easy and fun to portion your healthy snacks for IIFYM, Paleo, Keto or any custom diet plan.
Enjoy your healthy food habits!
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