What if you HAVE to Eat Late at Night?

We all know it can happen. No matter how much you prepare your schedule and your meals, sometimes life can fight back. You find yourself overtired and overworked; you get home late and haven’t eaten dinner yet. This is in no way ideal, but it happens. What do you do?

Eating late at night is not good for you. Your body doesn’t have time to burn off the calories before you go to bed and your body will be digesting when it should be resting. Late night eating can be detrimental to a healthy eating routine.

If you do have to eat late, you should try to have a small portion. Look for things that are high in fiber, lean proteins, or fruits and vegetables. You should avoid sugary, salty foods and avoid foods with a lot of carbs.

Here are 6 suggestions for late night foods to hold you over until tomorrow:

1. Fruits and Veggies – Has anyone ever told you that you eat too many fruits and vegetables? Didn’t think so. The more fruits and vegetables we get into our diets, the better. Fruits and veggies are a good late night food because they are easy to digest and packed with healthy things your body needs.

2. Low fat string cheese or yogurt – Yogurt and cheese are high in protein and calcium. Find a low fat option and pair it with fruits, veggies and/or honey for a satisfying late night nosh.

3. Low sugar, high protein cereal with fruit and skim milk – No Sugary O’s for you tonight. Check the labels of some of your favorite cereals and grab a couple to have on-hand just for late night eats. Pair your low sugar and high protein cereal with fruit like strawberries, blueberries or bananas for a sweet finish.

Cereal and Strawberries

4. Pretzels – Pretzels can satisfy a crunch craving. They are much better for you than chips. Pretzels are baked not fried and they are easy for your body to digest. Try a handful of pretzels with a serving size of hummus or salsa.

5. Whole wheat toast and peanut butter – I was reintroduced to this tasty treat when I picked up running. Whole wheat is easier for your body to digest and peanut butter is packed with protein.

6. Popcorn – Popcorn is a whole grain snack and it is full of fiber. It makes you feel full and digests easily. There are a lot of microwavable options out there but be sure to read labels before purchasing or eating. Many of the microwavable brands are high in sugar and sodium. Good old fashioned air popped won’t do you wrong though.

Hopefully some of these ideas will get you through that late night push. Reward yourself with a big healthy breakfast in the morning. It is never a good idea to skip meals but if you find yourself in a pinch, these should help.

What do you have in your house for late night eats?

Amanda O’Brien is originally from Peaks Island, Maine and currently works at Hall Web Services managing their inbound marketing team. She is a self proclaimed workaholic who tries to maintain a busy lifestyle. She is an amateur yogi and runner. Amanda contributes regularly to the Guiding Stars Blog.