Let's be certain about one thing: snacking self-control is nearly difficult to achieve. You're not a weak person; you're a human being. After quite a long, productive day, nighttime cravings might be perceived as a nasty mood. When hunger pains strike after supper, you can't help but drag yourself out of bed and rummage through the refrigerator for anything palatable. Don't you think so?
Understanding what you're seeking is the key to dissecting the sentiments of 'desire' and 'need.' To discover what's causing these desires, you need to first figure out what's causing them. So, you may replace your normally harmful late-night snacking practice with healthier alternatives.
And to know what snacks can be swapped as healthier alternatives, we spoke to Dr. Rohini Patil, Nutritionist and author of The Lifestyle Diet to get her recommendations and here's what she shared:
1. Unsalted, Baked Chips
Wafers that are unsalted and baked are a terrific snack to keep you entertained while also satisfying your hunger. It only takes a little crunch to make a big difference. Your formerly bloated body will appreciate you if you avoid salty meals with high sodium content. We understand that salt is a crucial ingredient in chips, therefore a sour cream dip or a salt-free salsa can be used instead.
Oatmeal is most commonly associated with the early morning hours, but it also offers several nocturnal advantages. For starters, oats are a complex food that breaks down slowly, preventing blood sugar surges that might disrupt sleep. And you're not alone if you find a warm cup of oats comfortable and relaxing. A serving of hot porridge with non-dairy/dairy milk and just a few dried fruits and nuts is an excellent method to satisfy hunger. Aside from providing nutritional benefits, it is a wonderful choice for comfort food and satisfying a late-night appetite.
Everyone enjoys snacking on popcorn while watching their favourite late-night television special. Healthy popcorn (non-GMO and prepared with coconut oil) exists and making it is a natural process. The wonderful thing about popcorn is that it satisfies your appetite without eating a lot of calories. It also helps that it tastes delicious.
4. Fruit & Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
What you actually want is ice cream, but Greek yoghurt with berries will leave you feeling less guilty. Greek yoghurt includes beneficial bacteria that can aid in the promotion of a flatter stomach in the morning. The high protein content might keep you satisfied till the next morning. Instead of sugary sweeteners, use toppings of fresh fruits and crunchy chia seeds. If you are averse to dairy, you should skip Greek yoghurt and instead have a bowl of berries.
Perhaps you are seeking higher-fat foods like cheese, cake, and ice cream because you did not consume enough beneficial fats during the day. Eat half an avocado to satisfy your nocturnal hunger and desires. You may eat it plain or purée it with chocolate protein powder to make a nutritious pudding. Thank goodness for avocados' healthful fats, which satisfy any hunger you're experiencing. When combined with multigrain bread, it will take your taste senses to the next level.
6. Dip With Fresh Veggies
Fresh vegetables are the answer if you're looking for something crisp and low-calorie. Raw carrots, broccoli florets, cucumber slices, celery, zucchini, peppers, and grape tomatoes, in any combination, will help to calm your stomach. Make a dip out of simple low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt to add to the taste.
It's also possible that your hunger or desires are an indication of dehydration. Drink a glass of water before reaching for anything from the refrigerator. Before going to bed, drink a glass of water to help flush out any extra sodium and make you feel less tired in the morning. Just stay away from carbonated or flavoured water drinks in the morning, since they might cause morning bloating.