Do you like staying up to watch The Late Night Show? It might be contributing to your heartburn! I’ve noticed so many of my patients paying the price for the late night tv!
Don’t worry, it’s not Jimmy Fallon’s or Stephen Colbert’s fault. It’s the SNACKS you’re eating while you curl up in bed and watch their shows.
Cookies, ice cream, chips, chocolate, sweets…these always seem to be the most satisfying snack at the end of the day! So what’s the problem with a little late-night indulgence, anyway?
Why You Shouldn’t Eat These Foods Before Bed
A lot of my patients struggle with late night snacking. In fact, I find that late night eating habits are one of the hardest habits to break! At the end of the day, you’re the most tired, have the least amount of willpower and often need a little comforting snack to help you wind down for the night.
Whatever snacks are easiest to grab, take minimal effort to prepare and taste yummy are the most likely ones you will reach for. Am I right?
The problem is, some foods will wreak havoc on your insides if you eat them before going to bed. The following foods will contribute to heartburn, and indigestion and even acid reflux if consumed late at night:
- High sugar snacks and sweets (cookies, ice cream, candy, juice)
- Greasy, high-trans-fat foods (fried foods, chips, fast food)
- Spicy foods
- Large meals
Although these foods might be satisfying in the moment, they can really interfere with your body’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. How well you sleep affects nearly everything else in your life, so it’s something I make sure is a high priority for all my patients.
You Don’t Have To Go To Bed Hungry
Even though there are negative consequences to eating certain foods at night, that doesn’t mean you have to forgo bedtime snacks entirely! There are some snacks that can satisfy your late cravings without giving your heartburn or indigestion.
My point here is this: help yourself to an occasional late night snack, just make sure it’s the right kind of snack!
I suggest eating snacks that have a little protein and healthy fat. Vegetables and a healthy dip, fruit, some nuts and seeds, a homemade low-sugar dessert, etc.
3 Perfect Recipes For Late-Night Snacking
Keep these tasty, nutrient-dense snacks on hand so that they are easy to grab at the end of the day. And if you’re looking for more homemade snack options, be sure to sign up for our free SuperSnacks Guide! We combined our favorite 40 snack recipes made from healthy, natural whole foods.
#1 Baked Blue Potato Chips
- 5-6 small blue potatoes, wash and thinly sliced
- 2-3 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Scrub potatoes and cut out any eyes on the potatoes.
- Slice potatoes with a mandolin or sharp knife into ⅛ inch thick slices.
- In a medium sized bowl, toss potato slices with avocado oil and salt ensuring potato slices are covered.
- On baking sheets, arrange slices in a single layer. Do not overlap potato slices or they will not crisp up.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes.
- Serve warm or cold.
#2 Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp raw honey
- 1 cup kale, finely chopped
- 1 cup spinach, finely chopped
- 5 scallions, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup water chestnuts, finely minced
- 1/3 cup red bell pepper, finely minced
- 1/3 cup carrot, finely minced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dill weed 1/3 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Cover mixing bowl and place in fridge.
- Allow to sit in fridge for at least 4-6 hours. (overnight is best to allow flavors to enhance)
- Remove from fridge, taste and season as needed.
#3 Nut-Free Trail Mix
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, raw
- 1 cup sunflower seeds, raw
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 3/4 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- On a large baking sheet, place pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
- Bake seeds for 14-17 minutes.
- Let seeds cool for at least 60 minutes.
- Using a large bowl, combine seeds, dried fruit, chocolate and salt.
- Store in an airtight container.
Partha’s Prescriptions Help Curb Unhealthy Late-Night Snacking
1. Eat A Satisfying, Nutritious Dinner.
What quality of food are you eating for dinner in the evenings? Consuming a filling, nutrient-dense meal can make a huge difference in how you feel for the rest of the evening. If you are eating low-quality foods then your body is going to feel heavy and nutrient-deprived (hello late-night cravings!). If you’re not eating enough calories, this will also lead to feeling empty and hungry before you go to bed.
Aim for a dinner that has a good protein source, plenty of veggies and/or greens, and some healthy fats. Eat enough to feel satiated but not so much that you feel heavy and bloated.
2. The #HealthHero practices Mindful Eating
Because dinner is at the end of the day, you can hopefully sit down and really enjoy it versus mindlessly shoving it down. Try to focus on eating slowly. Sit down at the table with other people instead of in front of the TV. Chew your food several times before swallowing. Eating consciously will help you to enjoy your food, digest it better, feel more satisfied and calm your mind.
3. Identify Triggers that lead to late night snacking
Are you using late-night snacks to fill a void in your life? Boredom, loneliness, procrastination, grief, etc? Many of my patients have connected their poor snacking habits with an area in their life in which they feel a “lack”. Identifying this is a big step in changing behavior because you can learn to fill the void you’re experiencing with something more appropriate.
4. Find Nutritious choices for better snacking. Many are found in my new SuperSnacks Cookbook
Download our free SuperSnacks Cookbook for 40 delicious, easy to make snack recipes! This compilation of the tastiest healthy snacks will make sure your house is always filled with nutritious choices. Once you start eating these regularly you won’t miss the low-quality snacks you use to enjoy. One, because they taste amazing! And two, because they make you FEEL amazing.
It’s completely free to our readers. Go grab your copy here.
Remember, the goal of changing your late-night eating habits isn’t to make you feel deprived or hungry. The goal is to create healthier habits that help you feel your best. With a little practice and some experimentation, you can curb late-night snacking. For those occasional times, you can find those snacks that are nutrient-rich and will contribute to good health.