We’ve all been there before… it’s midnight, you’re up late cramming for an exam or doing homework, you hear your stomach growl, and you decide that you no longer care about the diet you’re on — you need food, you need it now, and you’re more than willing to pop a bag of popcorn and call it a night. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to cave in order to satisfy your late night snack cravings…
Here are some general guidelines for snacking (because even though you’re not supposed to eat after 9pm, the best of us do…)
Veggies and Dip
Veggies are good at all hours but especially at night. They’re low in everything (and mostly just water) and won’t leave you feeling gross and bloated after. Dips can be anything – ranch, hummus, plain yogurt, you name it. (peppers and hummus is my favorite combo but I’m sure there are tons of others out there if that’s not your cup of tea!)
Sugary Drinks (Not Soda!)
It’s important to keep your sugar levels high when you’re trying to study or do something else that’s productive but you also need to make sure that they aren’t too high or you’ll experience the dreaded sugar crash. Drink things like Lemonade, Gatorade or Iced Tea and you’ll get some energy into your system while avoiding the crash!
Sometimes all you need is something to hold you over for a couple more hours – granola bars are perfect for that. While they should never be replacing a real meal, when it’s 2am and you just need something to fill your stomach so you can stop thinking about how hungry you are and start thinking about that History test, granola bars are perfect. My personal favorites are the Nature Valley Protein bars in Peanut Butter & Chocolate because they taste just like a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup (but are actually healthy)!
Remember, you’re not trying to pull an all-nighter, you’re just trying to pull through the next couple of hours. If you drink coffee or a Pepsi, chances are, you’ll never go to sleep and tomorrow is going to be rougher than you’d like it to be. Stick to the juice, iced tea and water – or anything else that’s decaf!
Put away those Sour Patch Kids, stop eating that bag of potato chips. You’re better than that. Don’t put all of that crap into your body, you’re guaranteed to crash soon and then you won’t be productive in any sense. Stick to the healthy stuff like fruits and veggies!
This is just a snack – don’t go and make a bowl of pasta or an entire plate of nachos. You know all too well that you’ll just end up in a food coma and unable to do anything you wanted to and you’ll completely mess up your digestive system!
Forget to Brush
This isn’t one that many would think about but let’s be real – how many times have you eaten something late at night, forgotten to brush and woken up with the worst morning breath in the world? Take 5 minutes after you eat to brush your teeth – I promise you won’t regret it!
I hope this helps some of you out there who are as addicted to late night snacking as I am! I know that being healthy while you’re in college can be a huge struggle, especially when you just want to lay in your bed and watch Netflix instead of trying to get that paper done (even though it’s due in a few days and Netflix will always be there) but I promise, once you get the hang of it, it’s not as hard as you may think it is… and even if all you do is eat healthy late at night, it still counts as a step in the right direction.
Happy late night snacking, kids! Remember, you are what you eat!