Are you a late-night snacker? Do you stay up late nights because your work demands it; perhaps you are a student studying for an upcoming examination, or maybe a TV show is keeping you up. Whatever your reasons are, late-night snacking may sabotage your weight loss effort and even lead to weight gain.
Hence, choosing the right snack is key to satisfy your hunger or cravings without packing on high amount of extra calories, which may leave you feeling bloated and regretful in the morning.
So if you are a late night snacker, I want you to stick to these 3 rules:
1) Your snack should be less than 200 calories. Remember it’s a snack. Not a meal! If you overeat late at night, especially when we are physically inactive at that time, those calories are more likely to be stored as fat.
2) Drink a glass of water first and wait for at least another 20 minutes before snacking, if you even need it. This will allow your brain to register whether are you truly hunger or just dehydrated or bored.
3) If you feel the urge to snack out of boredom, ask yourself, why am I still up so late? Shouldn’t I be in bed? Lack of sleep can also sabotage your weight loss effort.
To help you with your snackings, here are my Top 10 healthy and nutritious Late Night Snacks, which are under 100 calories.
1) Frozen Yoghurt Ice Cream (Serves 6)
My Number 1 choice has to be my favourite Frozen Yoghurt Ice Cream. Instead of the typical rich, creamy and high fat ice cream, this healthier alternative is light, low in calories and satisfies my ‘ice-cream’ cravings.
To make them, I’ve used:
- 200g Greek / Low-Fat Plain Yoghurt (130Cals)
- 150g frozen Strawberries = 49.5 cals
**Option: Other soft fruit of your choice
- 50g of sliced Bananas = 45 cals
- 1 tbsp of Goji Berries = 18cals
Total Cals = 242.5Cals
Per Serving = 40.42 Cals
1) Blend all the ingredients until thick and smooth.
2) Divide the mixture into 6 popsicle molds.
3) Freeze overnight and you can enjoy your guilt-free ice cream throughout the week!
The best part is, each stick only has 40.4 Calories. So you can even treat yourself to 2 sticks. =)
2) Honey Popcorn
This 2nd snack is perfect for a late-night movie. Popcorns generally are low in calories, recording at only 31 calories per cup. This is of course the no-butter, no sugar, plain popcorn.
So instead of buying the ready popcorns, which are loaded with extra fat and sugar, let’s go back to the basics of making your own plain popcorn and add your own flavours. Really simple
Steps (Makes 5 cups):
To make your own popcorn,
1) Place ¼ cup of popcorn kernels into a microwave safe deep bowl.
2) Cover firmly either with a lid or a plate. You want to make sure there’s no gap between the bowl and plate.
3) Microwave it for about 5 minutes, or until the popping slows down.
**Be careful when removing from the microwave as the dish is very hot.
4) Finally, top it up with your own flavours! I’ve coated mine with Honey.
Allow them to cool down slightly and you have your healthy movie snack.
Each 2 cups of serving with ½ tbsp of honey is only 94 Calories. Store the rest away in a container you will always have a healthy movie snack ready!
- 2 cups popped popcorn (31cals per cup)
- ½ tbsp honey – 32Cals
- Add spices
Total Cals – 94Cals
3) Seafood Vegetable Soup
If you are truly hungry, and you want a bigger portion serving without the extra high calories, a bowl of warm soup is perfect! This time of the night, avoid the creamy ones and choose broth-based soups, which are lightly and easier to digest. And skip the noodles or starchy carbs to prevent bloating and of course, extra calories, which may be stored as fat.
I’ve made my Seafood Vegetable Soup with:
- 2 cups (500ml) of Vegetable broth (25Cals)
- 50g Green Leafy Vegetable + Carrots (20Cals)
- 1oz or 30g Prawns (30Cals)
- 1 tbsp Goji Berries (18Cals)
Total Cals – 93Cals
This bowl, which looks like a meal, only has 93 Calories. So if you want a chinese take-away, make your own Vegetable Soup.
4) Veggie Sticks & Dip (Carrots & Hummus)
We all know that vegetables are low in calories, keep you satisfied, and perfect to be eaten all day long. So another of my favourite late night snack is Carrots and Hummus (Hoo – Moose). Instead of buying the dips, I’ve made my own HOO MOOSE. The ingredients you’ll need are:
1 large (72g) Carrot, sliced (30Cals)
Hummus INGREDIENTS (Serves 3)
- ½ can (120g) Chickpeas, washed & drained (145Cals)
- ¼ cup (60g) Greek or Plain Yoghurt (40Cals)
- 1 clove Garlic, minced (4Cals)
- ½ tsp Olive Oil (20Cals)
- ¼ tsp Dried Parsley
- ¼ tsp Paprika
Total Cals – 209
Per Serving – 69.67Cals
1) Place all the ingredients into a food processor and process until you have a smooth and creamy texture.
My sliced carrots and hummus (HOO MOOSE) is under 100 Calories. You can always change the vegetables and dips to your own taste. If you are working or studying late night and need something to munch on to keep you going, I would suggest this. Make a few containers, store them in the fridge and when you have the urge to munch, you have a healthy snack to turn to.
CARROTS & HUMMUS Total Cals – 99.67Cals
5) Tuna Sandwich Crackers (Crackers with Tuna / Ham)
Next quick, easy and healthy snack to go for is Tuna Sandwich Crackers. Instead of choosing bread, which is more dense and higher in calories, go for whole grain or whole wheat crackers, which typically has about 35 calories each.
2 whole grain crackers spread with ¼ can of Tuna has 100 Calories! This is light, high in protein and complex carb, which can help to curb further cravings.
- 2 Whole Grain / Whole Wheat Crackers (70Cals)
- ¼ Can (30g) of Tuna or Ham (30Cals)
Total – 100Cals
6) Healthy Cereals
Most of us start our day with a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, and actually this can also be your healthy late night snack. I sometimes have this myself. What you want to avoid is the sugary cereals.
Go for smaller portion and choose a small bowl of whole grain or whole-wheat cereals to curb hunger. For instance one plain Weetabix (67Cals) and ¼ cup of semi-skinned milk (31.25Cals) has 98.25 calories.
7) Whole Grain Bread or Muffin/cookies
If for some reason, you crave for muffins, cakes or bread. Try my Zucchini bread recipes and also Banana Muffin recipe. Remember that my recipes are interchangeable, so you can have them for your breakfast, afternoon snack and even late-night snack.
Zucchini Muffin – 86Cals
Other healthy and light snacks perfect for the night time, includes:
8) Yogurt + Fruits
- 100g Low Fat Yoghurt (65Cals)
- 1 tsp Raw Honey (21Cals)
- ¼ cup (40g) Strawberries (14Cals)
Total Cals – 100Cals
9) Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate, my favourite, you have seen me drink a cup prior to bedtime. A warm glass of milk or hot chocolate will not only help you sleep better, it’s also reduce food cravings. 1 cup of unsweetened soymilk (80 calories) with 1tsp of cocoa powder (18Cals) has about 98Cals.
You may also sweeten it with stevia or honey if you.
Others healthy late-night snack ideas include whole fruits, dried fruits & nuts, healthy snack bar, or an egg. What you want to avoid are obviously take-aways, high fat, greasy foods, alcohol, energy drinks, caffeine and too much of starchy foods which tend to be higher in calories. In fact, all the healthy snack should also be consumed in moderation to avoid sleep indigestion, bloating and excess calories intake.
Tackling late-night snacks or cravings is also about being prepared. So the more healthy snacks you have in your fridge to reach for, the more likely you are to consume them instead of opting for the unhealthy options. So are you a late-night snacker?
10) Coconut Red Bean Soup Dessert
Next on the list is a Chinese dessert, Coconut Red Bean Soup. This dessert is soothing and the coconut milk, helps you to sleep better.
- ¼ cup (50g) Red Bean – 154.5Cals
**100g = 309Cals
- 50g Coconut Milk (39Cals)
- 1 ¼ Water
- 10g Cane Sugar – 36.5Cals