The dreaded late night snack! The bane of all who are trying to drop those extra pounds.
But is it? To be honest, it might not be as bad as you think, and it might even be a good thing. It all depends on what you're eating and how it factors into the whole of your day.
The reason the late night snack has the rep it does is because, generally, when we reach for something we are reaching for cheap and easy. We grab chips, ice cream, cookies - pretty much everything that will not satisfy our hunger, knock our goals for a loop, interrupt our sleep, and put the little guilt girl in our heads on a “shouldn’t have done that” loop.
What if I told you that there is a cheap and easy alternative that might just do the opposite of all that? In other words, it could benefit your health, weight loss, sleep, etc., and it’s probably in your pantry right now?
Steel cut oats, muesli, or any other whole grain oatmeal type cereal, combined with a few key ingredients, is going to be a cocktail that will have your body humming, or snoring, as the case may be.
Oatmeal, cooked with whole milk, berries and/or banana, a small handful of your favorite nuts and/or seeds is scientifically backed to be an excellent pre-sleep snack. Here’s why: the high fiber along with the healthy fat is guaranteed to be satiating. The source of protein is excellent for nighttime muscle recovery, especially if you’re training hard. Combining these ingredients creates a snack high in melatonin, magnesium and tryptophan - a cocktail that is all but guaranteed to help send you off to snoozeville when consumed before bed. It’s also highly nutritious, and full of things your body wants and needs.
It’s very easy to do. The easiest way is to precook your oatmeal with whole milk and store a batch in the fridge or freezer. If you store in the freezer, make sure you portion it out before you freeze. When you’re ready to heat it, after you’ve put on your PJs and before you brush your teeth, take your oatmeal (about the amount that will fit in your cupped palm) and heat it in the microwave for one minute (longer if it is frozen). Take it out, stir, and add milk (if you don’t drink milk substitute with your favorite nut milk), and heat for another minute to 90 seconds. Add your banana, some berries (or a little of both), about a thumbs size portion of chopped nuts or seeds, and you’re rockin’ a bedtime snack in under 5 minutes. Enjoy, guilt free!
CAVEAT: If you are trying to lose weight, this snack must fall into the total amounts of food that you have set for the day. I know, there’s always a catch. Don’t worry; just plan accordingly. This snack may actually help with your weight loss goals.
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