Key foods to avoid eating late at night for weight loss
Night eating, or should we call it ‘eating while we watch Netflix’, is something most of us have indulged in at some point. While we may not be hungry, munching on some crunchy, salty snacks or indulging in a sweet treat with a hot drink while we watch our favourite shows may be something we learnt to do in our younger years, or it may be a habit that developed living alone, or with flat mates or a partner. Like all behaviours, an occasional treat poses no issue from a weight or health perspective. On the other hand, nightly munching on hundreds of extra calories is not great for our hormones, weight or our sleep in general. So if you are tempted to have a snack after dinner, here are the best and worst late night snacks.
Try to avoid…
Let’s be honest, who eats one single biscuit and the biscuits we are most likely to choose are basically a mix of palm oil, sugar and white flout, the ingredients most likely to effect the hormones involved in fat metabolism.
While we are told that dark chocolate is a better option that milk the reality is that dark chocolate is still high in sugar and fats so best avoided at night if your goal is weight loss.
Cheese and dips
Snack platters are often regarded as healthier options but cheese and dips are difficult to keep portion controlled and packed full of calories.
As milk is associated with better sleep quality, there are plenty of flavoured milk and hot chocolate options available in supermarkets and while some may contain less sugars and are advertised as lower in calories they often contain sweeteners which can prime you to seek out more sweet food and keep snacking. Keep your milk plain if you do like warm milk before bed.
Again there are a number of ‘healthier’ chips and beans available in the health food section of supermarkets but a closer look at the ingredient list and nutritional panel will likely reveal that these ‘healthier’ snacks remain relatively high in fat and calories plus who can stop eating them once you start? Chips are chips, especially if they are in a packet and sold with the chips.
And better options…
A couple of cups of plain popcorn contains less than 10g of carbs and is a fibre rich, low calorie snack option.
They may not be overly sweet, but they are exceptionally low in calories and will give you something to munch on over relatively long periods of time minus any calorie overload.
Berries and passion fruit
If sweet foods are your thing, keep in mind that delicious berries and passion fruit seeds have virtually no calories.
Crackers and light cream cheese
A couple of low calorie crackers such as Rye Cruskits teamed with a thin spread of Vegemite or light Philly and tomato are filling, low calorie crunchy snack options.
Low calorie ice-cream
Not exactly calorie free but a lot lighter than regular ice-cream, the growing range of low calorie treats including Halo Top and Streets High Protein Ice-Cream bars can contain as few as 100 calories whilst still offering a sweet hit after your evening meal.