Who among us has never had nighttime cravings for food? There are days when you don’t think about it at all. Others, on the other hand, seem unable to fall asleep without putting something sweet or extremely salty in their mouths. How to fight night cravings? Certainly, without pretending that nothing happened. Instead, we try to spoil them by choosing the right snacks.
Despite what many fasting fads say, it’s not the best idea to go to bed really hungry. This is especially true for women. Our hormones are in a delicate balance and blood sugar affects this balance. If we go to bed hungry, we can find ourselves wide awake around 3 a.m., seemingly in some inexplicable way.
The role of cortisol
This is due to fasting, or nocturnal hypoglycemia, a reaction that indicates that our blood sugar levels are dropping too much and our body is starting to produce cortisol in order to recover energy. It’s a survival tactic. Since we (usually) certainly don’t die in this scenario and are just trying to curb nighttime cravings, it can be frustrating.
Sleep is an essential part of physical well-being, including weight loss. So getting a good night’s sleep is even more important than fasting for that extra hour. So when we need a late-night snack, science says don’t fight it, but satisfy it.
The truth is, it all comes down to what we choose to eat during nighttime cravings. It’s important to stick to small, nutrient-dense, low-energy, or single-macronutrient foods. Think of a carbohydrate or a protein. Our body will burn it while we sleep and use energy to regenerate cells. We are a well-oiled machine: trust the information it sends you! Here are some of our favorite options.
Nighttime Food Cravings, Fight Them With Honey Yogurt
Instead of throwing yourself on a tub of high-sugar ice cream, opt for yogurt instead, which is packed with probiotics and protein. The flavor of plain yogurt is tart, so if you need more sweetness, a drizzle of honey will just be enough to provide you with the carbs you need to satisfy your palate.
Hummus with crackers
Hummus is a healthy source of protein and a really tasty salty food. It can be spread on seed crackers or wholemeal crackers. If you add moisturizing vegetables like cucumbers or carrots, you will give your body a restful beauty sleep.
We know it seems strange to eat this food (typical breakfast) late at night, but it’s actually the perfect snack. A small serving of warm, sweet and comforting oats is a great option to satisfy your stomach and your palate. It is a complex carbohydrate that is slowly broken down in the digestive tract to prevent crashes or spikes in blood sugar that interrupt rest.
Popcorn, allies against night cravings
If it’s not so much hunger that’s keeping you up at night, but rather an uncontrollable craving for something crunchy, make yourself some fresh popcorn! Avoid those that come ready-made in bags or microwaves. Instead, make them yourself in a pan. Their production is very simple: you will only need a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a handful of corn seeds, possibly organic.
In fact, packaged products often contain all types of fake hydrogenated butter and chemicals. Instead, making fresh will net you low-calorie, high-fiber popcorn. Just be sure to floss carefully before you go to bed.
Pumpkin seeds are crunchy, filling and high in protein. They are an ideal snack before bedtime. Besides being a satisfying snack, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium and tryptophan, two compounds that help us relax and sleep. They are also high in zinc, which helps our brains make serotonin from tryptophan.