Midnight Snacking: If You Must Eat, Make The Max Out Of It!

Hi Friends, Happy Friday!!

Yawn….am so sleepy right now, got only 5 hours of sleep last night and the next night is so far away! 🙁

One thing that I have started tracking with my Fitbit is my sleep duration and why is that? Now that I know that I do burn enough calories on an average day and am able to maintain a healthy deficit daily, without even tracking it, what I track with my Fitbit is, my sleep patterns.

Unfortunately, I have little control over my sleep durations and so I have to consciously make an effort to maintain at least a 6-hours sleep time, on most nights. Why?

Because I get very little sleep, always! No one else, just me myself to blame for that…I am a bookworm and books are like drugs for me…I can’t end a day without reading, I just can’t. Am addicted to them! That’s how I unwind once everyone is asleep and I have the house to myself.

I read whatever…all sorts of stories and books and other information, in form of physical books or  on apps or online, from Jane Austen to Joseph Heller to Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Frederick Forsyth to JK Rowling to John Grisham to Stephenie Meyer to Walter Isaacson to Rob Their.

All kinds of topics online…on various forums…and you know how it is, one topic leads to another. One curiosity satiated, leaves a tiny hole for another to seep in ☹

One habit I do not regret at all, even if it leaves me with less sleep! 😊

Now, it’s my turn to inculcate the same love for reading in my kids and I am doing things to actively cultivate the habit in them. Its already working on the elder one and she already is a fast and avid reader…will share my tips with you soon and then you can see if it helps and works for you (and your kids), if you want. I am sure every parent wants their kids to read and love it! Don’t ya!

Some day soon, I promise! Maybe, next week.

However, as the title says, today’s post is mainly about mid-night munchies. Many of you have told me you sleep late as well…the reasons are various and different but one thing is constant! If you have an early dinner and then, you stay up till late in night – you tend to get hungry! And if you are hungry, you just can’t sleep and there is no need to. As long as you can control the cravings, just a tiny bit!

As of today, I have learnt to eat early, by 8 and then later, before I go to bed around 10, I take my mug of whey protein with skimmed milk (so that it works as Caesin). And that keeps me full till I sleep around 1 (or even later).

I have started protein at bed-time recently since I need it only now, as per my BMI report. If you don’t need it, don’t take it. There are other healthy options too!

Trying to cut down on reading time now 🙁

As I started on my fitness journey a couple of years back, I bought or made my own low-calorie (and low prep time) snacks which are high on nutrition also. If I am eating at mid-night, might as well get maximum out of it, right?

A Few Things To Keep In Mind Before You Start Binging

First thing first and I always say this – Control portions – don’t eat big bowls and portions. Keep your midnight snacking to around 200 calories, for sure!

  • Make yourself work for it. If you feel like 2 toasts, make and eat just one, have a bit of water and then see if you want to make the second one too. The chances are you wouldn’t want to make it again! 😀
  • Don’t stock things at home that call to you when you are alone like ice-cream, sweets, bakery products. You wouldn’t eat them…umm, simply because they are not there!!
  • Read the labels before you buy or stock your pantry even with the ‘healthy stuff’– apart from having no preservatives or added sugars, it should have no saturated fats and should be low on calories
  • As a thumb rule – avoid spicy, sugary, fried or caffeinated items before bed
  • Use jaggery instead of white refined sugar if you are cooking something
  • Keep a water bottle handy and keep sipping. Water keeps you full and has no calories 🙂
  • I did put a note on the refrigerator door. The note reminded me of the healthier options when I had cravings. I would put things here and there and when the time comes, I forgot about them. This note reminded me of my options.
  • Don’t eat straight from the packet or container, one tends to eat more like that. Take it out in a bowl, eat with a small spoon.

However, if you notice that you’re always hungry before bed, that probably means you’re not eating enough throughout the day. If you restrict too much or fast during the day, your body will attack you when you are at your weakest!

My own mid-night munchies- Or anytime snacks, really! These worked for me very well.

I am an eggetarian so these options worked for me. Feel free to cut eggs and add lean proteins as per your preferences.

  • A tall glass (or a steaming mug) of skimmed/low-fat milk with cocoa or women’s Horlicks, without sugar preferably
  • Just 1 (or 2 max) plain toast of 100% whole wheat/grain bread, if you are very hungry – add just a tiny bit of peanut butter if you want.
  • Patanjali Anardana goli – esp for people with sweet cravings, like me
  • Small saunf/fennel (with a tiny bit of sugar, if you want)
  • For chocolate or sweet cravings – fresh strawberries  (or any other fruit that you like) tip-dipped in just a tiny bit in Nutella
  • Any fresh fruit
  • For this one, you really need to check the label before you indulge as it tend to be high in sugars many times. 1-2 pieces of dehydrated candied fruit with no added preservatives or colours/ flavours. My favorite being:
1-2 pieces help curb the cravings for something sweet!
  • My own trail-mix: I mix -all roasted – flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnut and sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and munakka (the big raisins). You can mix other seeds and almonds etc if you want. Take a handful, in a bowl and eat slowly with a small spoon.

However, if you have any health concerns like diabetes, acidity and such, you need to get a clearance from your doc or dietician/nutritionist beforehand. You can then make variations of these depending upon your tastes and preference, with similar items.

  • You can also try:
  • Both fruit and nuts (like almonds) bring a lot of nutritional benefits to the table, including vitamins, minerals, protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, and fiber. 
  • Boiled eggs (with a pinch of salt and black pepper if you like it that way)
  • Egg-sandwich, made with 100% whole wheat/grain bread
  • A low fat cheese slice or a sandwich made of it, with 100% whole wheat/grain bread
  • A bowl of high-fibre cereal with half a cup of skimmed/low fat milk or even instant oats.
  • I sometimes also made sweet dalia in milk and jaggery in the day time, stock it up for a few times and when I need, just take in a bowl, add a little milk for runny consistency and eat! You can add fruits, berries…can sprinkle cinnamon if you like!
  • Cottage cheese cubes
  • Plain popcorn
  • Plain (unflavoured) Greek yoghurt. Mix a tablespoon of honey if u want it a little sweet. Mix with fruit pieces and berries if you like it that way. Sprinkle a bit of granola if you are very hungry.
  • Veggie slices with your fav dip – this needs a little work as you need to clean and slice veggies  but you can cut and stock some in a box and refrigerate for the critical times 😊
  • Plain rusks – with 40 calories each rusk, it could be a decent option for a low-calories bite

Hope you liked today’s post and found it useful! Share with me your healthy snacks – which do not require more than 3-4 minutes of preparation time. Would rather read than making a snack 🙂

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Till next Friday, XOXO

 

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