Face it: Even when you fuel your body with whole grains, lean protein, and fruits and vegetables all day long, sometimes you find yourself raiding the kitchen cabinets at 9 p.m. because you’re so. hungry. And at that point, anything looks good—including those stale Oreos (no one wants to go to bed hungry, right?).
But here’s the thing about bedtime snacking: If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s not exactly the healthiest move. For example, a 2017 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition actually found that people who eat before bed tend to have higher amounts of body fat.
Still, when you’re hungry, you’re hungry—and not all bedtime snacks are are bad idea. some nutritious snacks can actually promote sleep, while still keeping your weight-loss goals on track. Try one of these healthy late night snacks that will fill you up and leave you feeling more energized in the morning—all without derailing your healthy-eating efforts.
1. An apple with peanut butter
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Slice up an apple and dip it into one tablespoon of natural peanut butter. The fiber in the apple and the healthy fat in the peanut butter is a combo that will tide you over until wake-up time, says Amy Gorin, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area.
Per serving: 200 calories, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 28 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 55 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein.
2. A vegan yogurt cup
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When you’re craving dessert late at night, opt for a single-serve sweet treat like fruity yogurt. This vegan option is still high in protein (the base is made from coconut milk and pea protein), low in sugar, and high in heathy fats that will fill you up.
Per serving: 180 calories, 10 g fat (7 g saturated), 13 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 5 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 10 g protein.
3. A peach with nonfat cottage cheese
Jessica Crandall, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says this duo is chock full of filling protein and fiber with the added benefits of calcium and vitamin C. Buy single-serve (four-ounce) cups of cottage cheese to make your healthy late night snack prep super simple.
Per serving: 150 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 23 g sugar, 820 mg sodium, 2.2 g fiber, 25 g protein.
4. Wasabi almonds
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Almonds are high in protein and fiber as well as selenium and magnesium, says Crandall. This is good news for nut lovers, because while the protein and fiber fills you up, the magnesium may help you fall asleep. Choose a bold flavor like wasabi—it really kicks your snack up a notch.
Per serving: 170 calories, 15 g fat (1 g saturated), 6 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 115 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein.
5. Dried Montmorency tart cherries
Tart cherries supply melatonin, which Gorin says helps regulate your internal clock and may be able to increase overall sleep efficiency. She likes to snack on a quarter cup before bedtime.
Per serving: 100 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 24 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.
6. Whole-grain toast with a scoop of guacamole
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Toast a slice of whole-grain bread and top it with two tablespoons of guacamole for healthy fat. Gorin recommends Dave’s Killer Bread Thin-Sliced 21 Whole Grains and Seeds. It comes in at 60 calories a slice and provides satiating protein and fiber.
Per serving: 105 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 15 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 185 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein.
7. Black olives
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When you want to feel full for a very small amount of calories, Gorin suggests reaching for a Pearls Olives to Go! snack cup. They’re perfectly portioned, providing a fueling snack with healthy fats for just about 30 calories.
Per serving: 30 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 2 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 300 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein.
8. Banana with a handful of sunflower seeds
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Gorin loves pairing a high-fiber banana with two tablespoons of shelled, dry-roasted sunflower seeds. The duo offers filling healthy fats as well as tryptophan, an amino acid that helps your body create melatonin.
Per serving: 150 calories, 4.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 29 g carbs, 15 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein.
9. A nutrient-packed bar
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These chewy, refrigerated snack bars are an easy late-night sweet craving fix, and they’re packed with nutrient-dense ingredients, like gluten-free whole-grain oats, cashews, dates, and prebiotics and probiotics.
Per serving: 220 calories, 11 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 31 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 60 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 5 g protein.
10. Baby carrots
Gorin recommends a dozen baby carrots for those nights when you want the crunch factor of a bag of potato chips without the added calories. They’re low in cals but high in fiber, so they’ll fill you up better than chips while satisfying your urge to chew on something.
Per serving: 40 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 10 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 95 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein.
11. Macadamia nuts
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These flavorful macadamia nuts will fill you up with healthy fats and satisfy your savory snack craving in a major way with their bold BBQ seasoning.
Per serving: 190 calories, 20 g fat (3 g saturated), 5 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 200 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.
12. Wheat crackers with low-sodium turkey breast
The protein in the lunch meat will keep you full until your alarm clock goes off, and the whole grains in the wheat crackers are heart-healthy, says Crandall.
Per serving: 178 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 22 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 675 mg sodium, 1.8 g fiber, 11 g protein.
13. Cooked edamame
They may not look like much, but edamame beans are high in protein and fiber (a.k.a. filling AF), Crandall says. She recommends seasoning them with garlic and red pepper flakes after cooking.
Per serving: 200 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 60 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 16 g protein.
14. Veggies and dip
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Grab a container of veggie-packed dip (you would never know this creamy cauliflower based buffalo dip was vegan!), and use a half cup of grape tomatoes as dippers—Gorin says tomatoes offer melatonin to help you sleep.
Per serving: 40 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 3 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 210 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.
15. Air-popped popcorn
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Steer clear of bags of microwave popcorn—they’re loaded with unnecessary ingredients. Instead, Crandall suggests air-popping your own kernels and sprinkling two cups of popcorn with nutritional yeast or cinnamon for a high-fiber, high-volume healthy late-night snack.
Per serving: 62 calories, 1 g fat (0.1 g saturated), 12 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 2.4 g fiber, 2 g protein.
16. A pear with cheese
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You really can’t go wrong with a fruit and dairy pairing. Crandall says that cheese is high in calcium and the pear provides filling fiber and immune-boosting vitamin C. A strong cheese, like stilton or goat, is a nice compliment to the subtle flavor of pears.
Per serving: 190 calories, 9 g fat (6 g saturated), 21 g carbs, 14 g sugar, 181 mg sodium, 5.5 g fiber, 7 g protein.
17. Sweet potato toast
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These pre-cooked sweet potato slices provide a blank canvas for whatever you’re craving: Roast and top with peanut butter and bananas for a sweet treat or avocado, tomato and pesto for a savory vibe.
Per serving: 80 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 30 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein.
18. A banana oatmeal cookie
For a delicious treat with health benefits, Crandall says to mix half a banana with rolled oats and a tablespoon of cacao nibs, form into two small mounds, flatten a bit on a greased cookie sheet, and bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
This snack takes a little more preparation, but the cookies are packed with fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, and you could even have another for breakfast in the morning.
Per serving: 152 calories, 3 g fat (1.3 g saturated), 29 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4.5 g fiber, 2 g protein.
19. Hard-boiled eggs with Everything Bagel seasoning
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Hardboiled eggs boast a lot of protein for not a lot of calories, so you can slice up two eggs before bedtime for a filling snack. Sprinkle with Trader Joe’s delicious Everything Bagel seasoning to jazz up the taste, suggests Gorin.
Per serving: 145 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated), 140 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 220 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 13 g protein.
20. Nonfat Greek yogurt with frozen berries
You know that Greek yogurt is loaded with protein; serving it with frozen berries makes it feel especially like a treat. Crandall says the berry blend is high in antioxidant power and vitamin C.
Per serving: 135 calories, 0 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 24 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 72 mg sodium, 1.5 g fiber, 12 g protein.
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