Why We Crave Late Night Snacks and What Are the Best Options

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We’ve all been there, we’ve tried to eat healthy all day and then with only an hour or two to go before bed, we start to feel those cravings for a late night snacks, so why do we get hungry at night and what are the best late night snack options?

Well, the good news is that not all late night snacks are bad for you and if planned out, it can be perfectly fine to have a snack, even encouraged!

Why We Crave Late Night Snacks and What Are the Best Options

Why do we get hungry at night

There could be many reasons why you start to crave food in the evenings and in order to turn this last snack of the day into a positive and not a diet destroyer, it would be beneficial to work out what your trigger is.

Some of the common causes of late night hunger are:

  • Hunger – have you restricted yourself too much in the day
  • Emotional Eating – some people resort to food through boredom, loneliness or sadness
  • Eating disorders such as those related binge eating

If you’re able to identify what triggers your trip to the kitchen, it will help you plan the best way forwards.

Understanding your cravings is not always straightforward and if you would like help with this, we would recommend that you speak to a qualified Dietitian, such as Atlanta Miall at Precision Athletica.

What are the best late night snacks

What’s right for one person might not necessarily be right for the next because of different preferences in food, diet plans, eating and and exercise/training habits, but in general these are our favorite healthy late night snack options.

1. Yoghurt and Berries

We love this combination because yoghurt (Greek ideally) is an excellent source of protein which will help you keep feeling full, whilst also being an excellent source of probiotics. Then the berries on the other hand are a great low sugar, low calorie fruit which are packed with anti-oxidants and bring the snack to life.

Athlete Shopping List Greek Yoghurt

2. Air-Popped Popcorn

Not microwave popcorn as that is often loaded up with unnecessary ingredients and sweeteners, instead try air-popping your own kernels and sprinkling two cups of popcorn with cinnamon for a high-fiber, high-volume healthy late-night snack, that also gives the impression of a more treat based snack.

Best late night snacks

3. Light Jelly

You might associate Jelly with a treat that you used to eat as a child, but many companies are now offering a light version that contains very few calories and with it’s fruity flavours, still leaves you feeling content that your craving has been filled.

Healthy late night snacks

4. Herbal Tea

Many people mistake hunger with thirst and including a herbal tea late in the evening  will not only provide some hydrating benefits but it has also been shown to help with sleep. Chamomile contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which may help initiate sleep, so could be a great choice in the evenings.

Stop late night cravings

5. Apple and Peanut Butter

Slice up an apple and dip it into a tablespoon of natural peanut butter for a satisfying snack. Not just satisfying though, this is a good combination of fiber from the apple and the healthy fat found in the peanut butter, with some protein for added benefit.

Health night time snack options

6. Whole Grain Toast with Guacamole 

Our final suggestion is to toast a slice of whole-grain bread and top it with two tablespoons of guacamole for healthy fat. This provides a combination of fibre and protein that should satisfy your hunger and taste buds.

late night craving options

Give these late night snack options a go and see how you find them. It’s always best to experiment and mix up your choices, so that you avoid becoming bored and resorting back to unhealthy choices in search of a variation.

If you’re not sure how these suggestions would fit in with your current diet, training and goals, please seek out help from your local Sports Dietitian, or contact ours at Precision Athletica.

This article was written by Precision Athletica Sports Dietitian – Atlanta Miall. If you would like more information, or feel you might benefit from a session with Atlanta, you can either come into our Sydney Olympic Park centre, or work with her online.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like to read her guide to 5 Best Healthy Snacks When Working From Home.

How Do I Book an Appointment with Precision Athletica for Help?

We’re taking the health of our clients, members and staff very seriously and our preference would be for you to call to book an appointment so that we can make sure to explain our approach to keeping you safe. You can call our bookings team to schedule a session:

Online Consultations

Evolving with the current environment, we are also now offering online appointments, meaning that we can support anyone who is unable to leave their home. Sessions are done via our state-of-the-art Telehealth system and as long as you have a laptop or tablet with an inbuilt camera, or a phone with camera, we can help! Online consultations would be especially effective for people looking to work on their nutrition and we have many clients working with us who are not based in Sydney.

To learn more about online consultations, please call us on any of the numbers listed above.

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