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9 Worst Late Night Snacks

Healthy Swap Outs
After compiling this list, it seemed that pretty much all my midnight snacks were covered in the “don’t” category. But feeling hungry can keep us wake, too, which is why eating a light snack is a smart choice before hitting the sack. “You’re going eight hours without eating, which is a really long time to go without giving your body any fuel,” says Jenny Geyser, a personal trainer in San Diego. While we should try to leave at least four hours between the last large meal and bedtime, something small and easily digestible can be a sensible choice before bedtime (woohoo!).

  • Switch the large, high fat pizza for a ham and grilled cheese sandwich on whole-wheat bread. There’s still a hint of cheese, but not so much that will make digestion terribly uncomfortable. Plus, the whole-wheat toast digests easily and quickly.
  • Switch the spicy chips for whole-wheat pretzels dipped in mild chipotle salsa. Subbing deep fried, fatty chips for more nutritious and quick-digesting crunchy pretzels satisfies the taste craving for crunchy and smoky.
  • Switch caffeine-packed dark chocolate for a homemade sweet snack. Grab some chocolate graham crackers and spread them with some all-natural jam or a smidge of peanut butter. While not totally all natural or sugar-free, it satisfies the sweet tooth and gives us some fruit and protein.
  • Switch cheap Chinese and other artificial foods for homemade leftovers or a quality frozen meal. In hopes of creating a better alternative, I’ve started freezing leftovers, so I have a more natural (and cheap) option waiting for me. There are also more good frozen meal choices out there lately—Amy’s Organics are some of my faves.
  • Switch sugary cereal for a more wholesome one. There are a lot of healthy cereals out there that taste like cardboard, but others are truly great and satisfying—Kashi has a whole line of low sugar, wholesome, higher protein cereals that don’t taste like healthy fare. Top them with a little fruit and you have comfort, quick digestion, and even a sweet taste to finish it off.  See 10 Healthiest Breakfast Cereals.
  • Switch red meat and beans for turkey or ham. If it’s protein you’re craving, the key is eating small portions and lean cuts. While protein does take longer to digest than carbs, I’m not going to deny myself if it’s what I want. I’ve found that if I keep it light and low fat, I don’t develop any kind of stomachache and wake up feeling great.
  • Switch canned soup for homemade soup or organic canned soup. If you’re the cooking type, make a huge batch from scratch and freeze portions in microwave-ready containers. If not, there are good brands of organic, preservative-free soups in most stores, too. Just beware of sodium and unpronounceable ingredients—try different ones until you find your preference.

Even though I was bummed when compiling the sleep-harming foods list, it really just takes a little shift in thinking to take my late-night snacks from undergrad to grownup. Here’s to catching some more ZZZs this week. Now, pass the salsa, please.

5 Best Snacks for Energy
5 Best Snacks to Boost Your Mood

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Insomnia,

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+ add your own
1:10PM PST on Feb 9, 2015

Thank you for the interesting article :)

6:21AM PST on Feb 9, 2015

I "learned my lesson" on canned soup when I was pregnant. I was swelling up like a balloon. My doctor asked, "What ARE you eating?" I replied, "I know I'm getting fat, but I've cut back about as much as I dare." "Who told you that you're getting fat?" "My husband" "Well, you AREN'T getting fat." He pushed gently on my skin and pointed out the dimple left when he removed his finger. "That's water. What are you eating? What did you have for lunch?" "Not much. Just some soup and a dill pickle." "CANNED soup? NO. And there's more sodium in that dill pickle than you should have in a whole day."

Of course, the next step was for him to tell hubby to stop telling me I'm fat. He responded with, "It's OK, pregnant women get fat." "She's NOT fat, and if you keep saying that, she could stop eating. STOP saying it. Get rid of the canned or processed food and the pickles." I dropped over 30 pounds right after birth. I had gained 40 pounds, so the doctor estimated I had actually gained 10, minus the baby etc., that is right on target... IF the edema had been better controlled.

11:58PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

great info! thanks!

4:46PM PDT on Oct 12, 2011


8:28PM PDT on Jun 19, 2011


2:14AM PDT on May 16, 2011

Thanks for the great info.

1:41PM PDT on May 1, 2011

Nice to know.

6:12PM PDT on Apr 27, 2011

Thanks for the info!

8:16AM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

Thank you for the info

8:02PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

I don't even eat these foods anyways! I usually eat organic foods from Whole Foods! Well, thanks for this awesome article! :D

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Sadly this goes on here in the UK as well,and all the time people are going hungry.

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