Ultimately one of the most difficult tasks with weight loss is sticking to your calorie limit, especially late at night if it’s keeping you up.
Even missing one or two hours of sleep because your hungry can spike your ghrelin levels (the hunger hormone), making you far more hungry the next day and thus compounding the issue.
Here we’re going to breakdown 10 great late night snacks that are low in calorie that are designed to scratch the itch of whatever it is your craving and help fill you up. Whether you’re looking for something crunchy or something sweet, we’ve got something here to help you lose fat and get down to your ideal weight.
Crunchy and Flavorful: Popcorn
Popcorn is a classic snack that can fulfill your cravings for something crunchy. But, make sure that if you buy pre made to check the bag, there can be a load of additives that really pile on the calories here. And if you’re trying to burn fat, remember, it’s important to skip the butter and opt for healthier seasonings. Sprinkle sea salt and spices of your choice to elevate the flavor. You can even add a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese for an extra burst of taste. With only 31 calories per cup, popcorn is a guilt-free choice that satisfies your cravings without sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
For When You’re Really Hungry: Zero Calorie Noodles
Zero calorie noodles are something of a recent trend, they’re made from a fiber called glucomannan, which is a common place in fat burning supplements this is because your body can’t actually digest it (but interestingly it is actually good for your stomach bacteria). In it’s powdered form it expands 50 times larger in your stomach, but in it’s noodle form it simply feels like noodles, looks like noodles, but has only 9 calories per plateful. It doesn’t taste quite as good as pasta, but it will definitely fill you up, helping you stick to your diet.
A Chocoholic’s Delight: Dark Chocolate
Contrary to popular belief, chocolate can be a part of a healthy diet. There’s actually even some evidence to suggest that it can help with weight loss due to some of the compounds inside it! You’ll want to opt for dark chocolate with at least 72% cacao to enjoy its antioxidant benefits and fiber content. Just be mindful of portion sizes and limit yourself to 2 ounces or less. With 131 calories per ounce, dark chocolate can satisfy your sweet tooth without derailing your weight loss goals.
Nature’s Candy: Dried Figs
When you’re craving something sweet, dried fruit can be a healthier alternative to satisfy your taste buds. Dried figs, in particular, are a great choice. They are naturally low in fat and packed with fiber, making them a satisfying and nutritious late-night snack. Just be sure to watch your portion sizes and limit yourself to three or four figs. With only 48 calories per ounce, dried figs are a guilt-free indulgence.
Creamy and Protein-Packed: Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a fantastic option for late-night snacking. It’s high in protein, low in sugar, and can satisfy your cravings for something creamy. Opt for plain Greek yogurt to avoid added sugars and customize it with your favorite toppings. Sliced fruit, a drizzle of honey, or a sprinkle of chocolate chips can add an extra touch of flavor. With 80 calories and 14 grams of protein per 5.3-ounce container, Greek yogurt is a delicious and nutritious choice.
Sweet and Refreshing: Frozen Berries
Freezing berries is a simple way to create a satisfying and healthy late-night snack. Frozen berries resemble a sorbet-like treat that can satisfy your sweet tooth while providing essential vitamins and antioxidants. They are also rich in fiber, which increases satiety. For an extra twist, blend frozen bananas and berries in a food processor to create a homemade “nice” cream. With only 13 calories per ounce, frozen berries are a guilt-free delight. They’re also really good for helping suppress appetite when you’re craving something chilled like ice cream.
The Classic Combo: Apple and Peanut Butter
The combination of an apple and peanut butter is a classic, satisfying snack that can curb your hunger cravings without leaving you feeling guilty. Apples are rich in fiber, while peanut butter provides a dose of protein. This duo is perfect for satisfying your sweet and crunchy cravings. Just be mindful of portion sizes and enjoy a whole apple with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter. With only 95 calories for the apple and 185 calories for the peanut butter, this snack is a nutritional powerhouse.
The Perfectly Portable: Banana
Bananas are a convenient and nutritious late-night snack. They are low in calories, rich in fiber, and contain the amino acid tryptophan, which helps promote a restful night’s sleep. Additionally, you can pair a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter for a satisfying snack that combines carbohydrates and protein. With 105 calories per medium-sized banana, this snack is a healthy choice to satisfy your hunger.
Bonus: Not Really A Food, But: Green Tea
Green tea is particularly interesting when it comes to people struggling with the late night munchies, not only has L Theanine (the main compound in green tea) been shown to suppress appetite, but it can also help you get to sleep faster. As a result green tea extracts make it into a lot of late night fat burners and appetite suppression aids.
Crisp and Crunchy: Raw Veggies
Raw veggies are an excellent option for late-night snacking. They are high in water and fiber, which helps you feel full without consuming excess calories. Carrot sticks, celery, bell peppers, snap peas, and cucumbers are all great choices. For added flavor, dip them in protein-rich hummus, which is naturally low in fat. With only 44 calories per cup of raw carrots, this snack is a guilt-free way to satisfy your crunch cravings. Some veggies are even so low in calories that they actually need almost as many calories to digest as they give you, meaning they’re pretty much going to burn fat.
Protein-Packed and Easy: Hard-Boiled Egg
Hard-boiled eggs are a convenient and protein-rich snack that can keep you feeling satisfied throughout the night. They are an excellent source of high-quality protein and contain essential vitamins and minerals. Boil a batch of eggs at the beginning of the week and keep them in the fridge for a quick and easy snack. Sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper, and you have a tasty treat that provides 80 calories per egg.
A Cheese Lover’s Dream: Cheese
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to give up cheese when you’re trying to lose weight. Certain cheeses like provolone, mozzarella, feta, goat cheese, and parmesan are lower in calories and can be enjoyed in moderation. Cut them into squares or pair them with whole grain crackers for a satisfying snack. String cheese is also a great option since it provides portion control. With only 70 calories per string cheese, you can indulge in your love for cheese without guilt.
Before we dive into the delicious snack options, let’s discuss some important tips to keep in mind when choosing your late-night snacks.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your snacks are both satisfying and supportive of your weight loss journey.
Top Tips for Preventing Unhealthy Snacks
- Eat the Majority of Your Calories Earlier in the Day: It’s best to consume around 90% of your daily calories before 8 p.m. when you’re trying to lose weight. This approach allows your body more time to digest the food and prevents excess calories from being stored as fat.
- Plan Ahead: If you know that you’re prone to late-night snacking, plan your meals and snacks accordingly. Save some calories from earlier in the day to allocate towards your evening snack. By doing so, you can enjoy your treat without going overboard.
- Practice Portion Control: Even healthy snacks can derail your diet if you consume them in large quantities. Be mindful of your portion sizes and avoid mindlessly eating an entire bag or container. Instead, measure out an appropriate serving size and savor it.
Now that we have these helpful tips in mind, let’s explore the 15 best healthy late-night snacks for weight loss that will satisfy your cravings.
Supplements that Help With Late Night Cravings
There are also a host of appetite suppressing supplements that can make a difference, you will of course want to avoid ones that contain caffeine, and as we mentioned earlier a lot of the good ones contain compounds like glucomannan, but there are also things like L Theanine (a green tea extract) and 5htp, which both help you get to sleep and reduce cravings. Having been shown to be effective for both in multiple clinical trials.