Okay, so, listen to the following scenario and see if it sounds familiar to any of you: It’s late in the evening. All day you’ve been very strict with your healthy-eating regime. You woke up, had a heathy breakfast, snacked on an apple, grabbed a healthy salad for lunch, and tucked into a delicious plate of steamed salmon and baked veggies for dinner. Dinner was nearly three hours ago, and now all that you can think of is that packed of chocolate chip cookies nestled away in the cookie jar. You’re trying to be strong, but you can hear them calling out your name. Before you know it, you’ve demolished several packs of cookies, guzzled two large glasses of milk, and now you feel like a fat, bloated, shame-filled mess. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Late in the evening is the worst time for craving junk. We’re not entirely sure why, but in the evening when you’re relaxing after a long day, the cravings for junk food often hit and they hit hard. Rather than blowing your progress in the gym and from healthy eating however, why not snack smart instead? Here are several healthy snacks which are ideal for beating late night hunger.
Celery sticks and peanut butter
Peanut butter is one of those rare healthy treats that is almost too good to be true. It’s rich, it’s creamy, it tastes like heaven, and it is apparently healthy?! The truth is that peanut butter is indeed a very healthy snack food, as long as you choose the correct type. Avoid peanut butter, or any nut butter for that matter, that contains anything other than 100% nuts. Some peanut butters have added salt, sugar, sweeteners, and additional oils. These are very bad for you. 100% nut butters however, are ideal. Peanut butter is a great source of protein, it is rich in heart-healthy fats, plus it tastes awesome. If you get the cravings one evening, simply grab a few celery sticks, take a generous dollop of peanut butter, and use the sticks like a spoon. Celery is low in calories, it contains a lot of water, it contains B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium.
Hard boiled eggs
Eggs are arguably the most versatile ingredients in existence. Eggs are wonderful for people trying to be healthy and look after their bodies, which is why so many bodybuilders end up snacking on them. Eggs are high in protein, the yolks contain beneficial fats linked to heart health and cognitive function, they contain minerals, plus they are the only food to boast a complete amino acid profile of both essential and non-essential amino acids. Eggs are therefore a great snack food for anybody looking to increase their muscle mass as protein is essential for muscle growth and repair. Protein is also thermogenic, which in basic terms means that the body takes longer to digest protein than it does fats or carbs. This is why eggs are a great snack food because they will keep you feeling full for longer. One egg contains between 4 and 6g of protein on average. During the day, simply take a few eggs, throw them into a pan of boiling water, and boil until cooked. Next, peel them when cool and store them in the fridge. When you get hungry and crave junk, grab a couple of hard-boiled eggs and you’re good to go.
Cottage cheese with chocolate protein powder
Cottage cheese is one of the best bodybuilding and fitness foods you could ever wish for. Despite being a member of the cheese family, it is virtually fat-free and is very low in calories. Cottage cheese is also a great source of casein protein. Casein protein is a slow-releasing protein that takes a long time to digest and break down. This means that cottage cheese keeps you feeling full for hours. Best of all, if you eat it in the evening, your body will have plenty of protein throughout the night, so you can stay in a constant anabolic state which means that you are building and preserving muscle. If you want something sweet however, cottage cheese doesn’t really hit the spot, so what can you do? Well, you can simply take a scoop of chocolate protein powder and mix it with the cottage cheese. The end result is a chocolate dessert similar in texture to a moose. This desert tastes amazing, is low in calories and is high in protein and amino acids, along with minerals such as zinc and calcium.
Greek yoghurt and mixed nuts
Greek yoghurt may contain fats, but the fats it contains are very healthy. Besides which, it is also a great source of protein and it tastes fantastic. A simple but effective late-night snack idea is to simply take a small serving of Greek yoghurt, and to throw in a handful of mixed nuts of your choosing. Try to keep the nuts plain and free from added salt, sugar, or any coatings. If you want a little sweetness, stir in a small teaspoon of honey.