Are there healthy late night snacks that won’t sabotage your weight loss yet still satisfy your cravings? 

Late-night cravings are one of the leading causes of obesity, which can trigger health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, and high cholesterol level.

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We tend to crave for chocolates, ice creams, and other sweets when we feel down.  Luckily, there are actually quite a variety of sweet and savory healthier choices for our late night craving needs!  

What are the Best Types of Food for Healthy Late Night Snacks?

Here are the key properties you should look for when choosing healthy late night snacks:

1. Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone your body forms naturally. It functions to improve sleep by maintaining your body’s biological clock or sleep-wake cycles.  You will be able to sleep on a regular schedule by keeping the level of melatonin in control.

Study shows that poor sleep has a direct impact on your hormonal functions that can lead to weight gain and its associated health risks (source).

If you are looking to optimize your health and body weight, then getting quality sleep should be high on your priority list.

2. Tryptophan

Tryptophan is one of the nine essential amino acids that are present in common foods such as chicken, fatty fish, and eggs. Plant-based sources are soy and seeds, such as pumpkin.

Inadequate L-tryptophan levels can have a severe effect on the mind and body. The main side effect is reduced sleep quality and an increased risk of mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression.

Recent research on L-tryptophan and sleep shows that consuming L-tryptophan supplements twice per day significantly increased melatonin levels, which improved our body’s sleep-wake cycle regulation (source).

Serotonin is also synthesized from tryptophan, which can help to reduce anxiety and promote focused sleep working alongside melatonin.

3. Protein

Including high protein foods into your diet can help you lose weight and curb unwanted fats. 

There is a strong correlation between protein intake and belly fat, as eating protein-rich foods can help to lower belly fat (source).

Whey, casein, and also plant-based sources like soy or pea, are all great options for you if you are looking to lose weight. 

Related Post: 5 Best Protein Powders for Weight Loss for Women

4. Low-Glycemic Foods  

High-glycemic foods cause an instant spike in blood sugar levels or cholesterol levels. These spikes are unhealthy as it can lead to fat storage by the body.

Also, the dramatic dip in blood sugar after the spike can lead to hunger, carbs cravings, and fatigue.

Low-glycemic foods like bananas or avocados, on the other hand, are nutritious and keep your blood sugar in check, and are therefore healthy late night snacks

So, look for these key properties in your late night snacks to prevent self-sabotaging your weight loss.

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Where to shop for healthy late night snacks?

I do most of my perishable grocery shopping at my local supermarkets, but for non-perishable healthy snacks, I rely mostly on Thrive Market.

Not only does it save a ton of time and energy to be able to shop at home in the comfort of my pajamas and have these food items delivered directly to my door, but these online vendors also allow me to buy these healthy snacks on a recurring basis base on my need so that I can basically ”set it and forget it”, and not have to worry about running out of healthy snack options when I get “hangry”!

If you’ve ever visited a Costco, Thrive Market operates with a similar model where you can find groceries at wholesale prices with membership, except it’s online and sells quality organic and clean non-perishable groceries like this almond milk with ONLY 4 wholesome ingredients, conveniently delivered to your door.

If you would like to shop smart and save money, time, and energy to stock up on your healthy snacks, you can get a Thrive Membership risk-free for 30 days with this link and choose a FREE gift, up to $22 in value (1-month membership or 1-year membership at 50% discount).

And when I’m not shopping for healthy groceries there, I’m over at Amazon Subscribe & Save where I can save at least 15% off the list price.

10 Healthy Late Night Snacks for Weight Loss

1. Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice is not an instant weight-loss food, but it will help you in your plan to lose weight. 

Not only do tart cherries contain rich amounts of tryptophan that aids in the production of melatonin, but it’s also rich in anthocyanins which help slow the breakdown of tryptophan, thereby helping you to sleep better.

Another reason to drink tart cherry juice is that the sour taste of the juice will reduce your sweets consumption and cravings (source).  

Pairing sour or bitter drinks with sweet snacks is a popular custom in Asia where authentic afternoon tea (without the milk and sugar) is often served with a sweet dessert or snack.   

2. Whole Grains

Whole grain foods are minimally processed so they retain a richer amount of nutrients than refined grains and are often lower on the glycemic index.

These nutrient-dense complex carbs should be a regular part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Whole grains like oats, brown rice, whole-grain bread, and even popcorn are weight loss-friendly foods.

3. Banana Ice Cream

healthy late night snack - banana ice cream

If you love ice cream, give the amazing banana ice cream a try! 

Bananas offer a wide range of essential nutrients and are also an effective source of dietary fiber. 

The vitamin B6 in bananas helps to convert its tryptophan to serotonin, the neurotransmitter controlling melatonin levels in the body and therefore improves your sleep.

How do you make banana ice cream?  Simply freeze a banana until solid, then pulse and blend it up in a food processor, and it turns into a rich and creamy-textured ice cream!

You can eat the ice cream immediately, though it will be quite soft.  You can also transfer it back into an airtight container and freeze it until solid, like traditional ice cream.

4. Peanut Butter

Remember those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches way back from your childhood days?  It’s actually one of America’s favorite late night snacks!  

Turns out snacking on peanut butter or peanuts is an effective way to control hunger without weight gain. 

Peanut butter helps you to lose weight by keeping you feeling full for longer (source).  This is due to its rich fats and protein content.  

Peanut butter also has a low glycemic index despite its natural sweetness.

Just don’t sit down in front of the couch with an entire jar of peanut butter!  Limit your intake to 2 tablespoons a day if you are looking to lose weight.

5. Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruits are rich in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber; and low in calories so they make great healthy late night snacks.

I found pairing low-glycemic fruits such as apples or pears with peanut butter is a great way to satisfy both my savory and sweet cravings!

6. Almond Butter

healthy late night snack - almond butter

Almond butter is made from almonds that consist of healthy fats, proteins, and minerals the nuts are renowned for. 

It can be easily added to your healthy diet as it enhances the flavor and nutrition of sandwiches, oatmeal, and much more.

Almond butter also goes great with sliced apples, pears, and celery sticks!

Make sure to check the ingredients list for all-natural ingredients and get convenient pre-portioned butter packs to prevent overeating.

7. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkins are healthy snacks as they can fill your appetite for a longer duration. They prevent hunger pangs. 

These seeds contain essential nutrients such as magnesium, manganese, antioxidants, and phytosterols.

Pumpkin seeds are also a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid that can help promote sleep.

8. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is one of the most popular diet-friendly foods you can consume. It contains a maximum amount of satisfying protein and half the sugar as compared to your typical yogurt. 

The combination of protein and texture of Greek yogurt may help you feel more full than other yogurts and snacks.

Greek yogurt is also high in calcium which is effective in reducing stress and stabilizing nerve fibers, including those in the brain.  This helps to calm your mind to induce sleep.

9. Trail Mix

healthy late night snack - trail mix

The nuts and dried fruits found in trail mixes packs a double nutrients punch!

A modest amount of chocolates added to the mix can also help satisfy the craving for sweets. 

Chocolate can increase the levels of serotonin in your body and thus boost the production of melatonin to aid your sleep.

Related Post: 12 Best Dried Fruits for Weight Loss

10. Cheese

Cheese is a good source of protein and tryptophan to help you feel satiated while optimizing your melatonin to promote sleep, making it a healthy late night snack!

Having whole-grain crackers with cheese is a great way to get a healthy balance of carbs and protein.

Don’t forget to complement these healthy snacks with a healthy, clean eating diet plan in order to lose weight effectively.

If you enjoyed these tips on healthy late night snacks for weight loss, and are looking to eat clean for weight loss with a done-for-you meal plan complete with shopping list and meal prep instructions, you’ll want to check out my 21-Day Slim Down Challenge!

You’ll learn how I lost my first 10 pounds in a month without working out or starving myself, using fat burning spices and healthy greens that have been used for thousands of years in traditional Asian medicine to maintain a healthy body and weight!

The concepts that you’ll learn from the challenge will help you make the necessary changes in your diet and your lifestyle, and easily maintain your healthy weight beyond the challenge.

You can click here to get started with YOUR 21-Day Slim Down Challenge today!