While watching your favorite late night show or browsing through your favorite website, you have to endure a late night hunger attack. What options you have other than to cave in and indulge in snacking? There is no shame in it and we all have been there. You have to feed your body when it is asking for food. However, you can opt to be smart about your choices because by going for wrong choices, you can easily ruin your physique and fitness plans.
The wrong food choices can easily spoil your sculpted and carved midsection and in case, you already have flab resting on the midsection, it can add inches of more fat. Also, it can jeopardize your night of restful sleep, which apart from supporting your fitness program is also elementary for the proper working of your bodily functions.
Of course, every pitfall can be avoided. And, to avoid this one, abstain from reaching for these five foods when the late night snack attack hits. Instead, you can stave off the hunger pangs with the other great alternatives listed in the article.
Over the past few years, dark chocolate has been championed as one of the best snacking foods. The presence of large amounts of antioxidants that along with assisting in weight loss can help in tackling wide range of maladies, has further enhanced dark chocolate’s profile.
However, the dark chocolate is a great snacking option as long as you are consuming it in the daytime. Once you cross into the wee hours of the day, it would be better for your sleep, if you refrain from munching on a bar of dark delight. The reason is the high caffeine content of the chocolate. For instance, a dark chocolate, Hershey’s candy bar has about 30 milligrams of caffeine, which is almost as same as a cup of instant tea and slightly less than that of a cup of brewed tea. In other words, it is more than enough to leave you counting plenty of sheep.
And, caffeine isn’t the only stimulant present in the dark chocolate that can mess up your sleep. The chocolate, especially dark chocolate has small amounts of theobromine. The studies have found that theobromine can increase the heart rate and negatively affect the quality of sleep.
Instead of a dark chocolate bar, munch carob chips. It is similar to cocoa in taste and comes from the pod of a tropical tree that contains an edible pulp. Like your favorite dark chocolate, it has a sweet and delightful chocolaty flavor. And, it is completely caffeine free. Plus, you won’t be missing out on antioxidant properties of dark chocolate as carob has some potent antioxidants in its arsenal as well.
Who doesn’t love the delightful crunch of the processed cereals? Apart from being extremely delicious, they are a convenient snack choice. After all, you have to pour them out of the box and into the bowl and you are good to go. This convenience makes them a perfect snack choice for the time of the day when you are at your laziest. However, the problem is that eating processed cereals is linked with a lazy trait and that is midsection flab. And, I am not just talking about the cereals with cartoon character. The cereals are loaded with sugar and artificial flavors with the sole purpose of making them tasty. And, this sugar can easily spike your blood sugar. The blood sugar spike means your blood stream has more glucose than your body needs and the additional glucose is converted into fats and stored in cells. This problem becomes increasingly acute late in the day when your metabolism is clocking at a speed of sloth, which means most of the sugar from the cereal would be shuttled into your cells as fat. Thus, it makes an invaluable contribution to your blubber.
The plain popcorns are a much better alternative. The popcorns have slow digesting carbohydrates, which won’t flood your bloodstream with sugar. Some experts even point out that the popcorn facilitate the transfer of amino acid tryptophan to your brain, where it is used to boost the production of the sleep-inducing neurotransmitter serotonin. Plus, the three bowls of plain popcorn have mere 93 calories, so you don’t have to bother about calorie aspect as well. However, the multiplex style golden popcorn won’t be a good idea.
Spooning up your favorite ice-cream is a bad choice in two distinct ways. First of all, the creamy delight is laden with sugar that as explained earlier can be damning for your blood sugar levels. And, the blood sugar levels in turn can make you very fatty, depending on the frequency of their consumption.
The other problem with eating ice-cream late in the night is that the high fat content of the icy treat isn’t ideal for your digestive system. It forces your sluggish digestive system to kick into overdrive to digest fats. And, it has to be noted here that the fat is more difficult to digest in comparison to carbohydrates and some types of protein. When your bodily systems are hard at work, your body is less likely to get a peaceful and restorative sleep. And, less the sleep, worse would be your recovery from the grueling gym session.
Instead treat yourself to the double goodness of low fat cottage cheese and chia seeds. The cottage cheese is loaded with casein protein that can supply your body with the steady stream of muscle-building amino acids throughout the night. The chia seeds are a good source of soluble fiber. Not only it will promote satiety, but will also boost the movement of food in your gut and will facilitate better bowel movements. The satiety aspect will ensure you don’t have to reach for anything else while burning the midnight oil.
The pretzel sticks are usually preferred over the greasy chips. But, in reality, the baked snacks aren’t that great for your health and fitness either. The biggest problem with the pretzel is that it is made with white processed flour, which gives them a sky high glycemic index. The high glycemic index means that they would be digested quickly and would lead to sudden surge in blood sugar levels, which as discussed earlier can be a worst thing for someone looking to shed weight. However, that is not the only problem with pretzels. Apart from encouraging fat storage late in the day when your metabolism is at its slowest, the high blood sugar can also disrupt healthy sleep patterns.
Another problem with the pretzel sticks is that it is incredibly delicious. And, you can easily lose track of how much you are eating and you only notice the empty bag, when your favorite movie’s climax scene comes and you find your hand vainly searching for something in the bag. And, by then, you have already crossed your daily calorie limit by miles.
Instead open a pack of seaweed snacks. Along with satisfying your salty cravings, these snacks are loaded with nutrients including high levels of vitamins A and C, and calcium. And, as it’s one of the only natural, non-animal sources of vitamin B-12, which is essential for many cognitive and bodily functions, the seaweed snacks are perfectly suited for vegans. Plus, sea vegetables have high amounts of iodine, potassium, selenium, iron, and magnesium. On top of that, the seaweed snacks are notoriously low on calories – with only about 30 calories in 10 sheets.
Fruit yogurt has been aggressively marketed as a healthy food. But, these claims are little off the mark. There is no doubt that they have a high protein content, which can help fuel muscle recovery process. However, the high sugar content in this type of yogurt is matter of concern here. And, you already know the side effects of consuming anything with high sugar content so late in the day. Now, you might argue that it has fruits, which have tons of benefits. But, the problem is that blueberry, strawberry, and other fruits in fruit yogurt have more sugar than fresh fruits. Plus, preservatives and other compound may have been added to preserve or enhance the flavor.
Instead, spoon in plain yogurt. You would be getting muscle building benefits minus the onslaught of gut-busting processed sugars. For even better protein content, go for the Greek or Icelandic-style yogurt.
For better flavor, stir in a touch of calorie-free vanilla extract. Or, you can opt to add fresh fruits to the mix. The frozen blueberries are especially a great option. The blueberries have great anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful in tackling muscle soreness. It also has antioxidant properties that can be beneficial in wide range of medical conditions and problems.