It took me 5 years of University, 7 years of late night bartending and 10 pounds of extra weight to realize I had been making some serious food faux-pas.
Late night cram sessions, club hopping and other evening antics can all induce the midnight munchies. It’s bound to happen every now and again, but when it happens too often, you’re midsection might bear the burden. While it’s unrealistic to assume we’ll never eat late, there are a few tricks you can follow to make smarter, healthier decisions.
Making proper late night food choices can affect more than just your weight scale. It can affect how well your metabolism functions and how well you’ll sleep that night. So, what should you be eating?
Avoid Fried Foods
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that fried foods are one of the worst food choices you can make, regardless of what time of day it is.
Fried foods are full of simple carbohydrates that break down into sugar and get stored as fat. They are also much harder to digest and remain in your stomach for longer.
Go For Protein
Protein packed foods are your best option when snacking late. Protein-rich foods are satisfying, with minimal fat content and keep you full so you don’t wake up starving.
Grilled chicken or fish are great options. Forgo the bread battering of nuggets and opt for a side salad or veggies instead.
Too much of a good thing, is not necessarily a good thing. Exhibit some self control when it comes to portion sizes is even more important the later you eat. At the end of the day your metabolism is working at its slowest so it’s best not to eat until you are full and definitely avoid overindulging.
If the nachos or deep fried pickles are calling your name – trust me, I’ve been there – try and share with a friend to minimize the efforts your poor body will have to make to properly digest this food.
Timing Is Everything
I was particularly bad at following this rule in my younger days, but it is an important one. Though you may not have foreseen a late night chow down in your future, try and give yourself at least two hours to digest before hitting the hay. This two hour window between snacks and sleep allows for a higher quality of sleep and better digestion.
Giving your digestive system a proper rest ensures better overall health. If you simply cannot wait 2 hours to sleep, make sure you give your body at least 10-12 hours of recovery before eating again.
It can be tough living a busy social and work life, so be prepared and next time the munchies come a callin’, you’ll know exactly what to do!
Got any late night snacking experiences or tips? Let us know in the comments below…