When you’re investing hours into the gym or your exercise routine you know one of the hardest parts is to manage your diet. Everything from your first meal to your last meal of the day comes into play as to how successful you will be in your planned goals. This starts with knowing what your macronutrients are and sticking to those numbers throughout your meals.
For many, the hardest part is managing those late night binges that we had before we started our training. This is for the people who used to curl up on the couch with some ice cream or a snack before bed. This does not necessarily mean that eating a night is a bad thing. If planned and within your macros, eating the proper late night snack can actually work to feed your body during the night. Here are a few late night snacks that will keep you on track!
One of the best macronutrients to take in before bed is protein. Casein protein burned by the body at a slower pace than whey protein. On average casein shakes have 24 grams of protein per scoop. When adding milk to the mix you can add an extra 8 grams of protein and healthy fats as well. The rate of digestion is between 6 and 8 hours which can keep the body satiated to preserve muscle during the body’s prime repair time.
Greek yogurt is one of the more nutritious forms of yogurt made. Greek yogurt typically contains lower sugar levels, but the higher levels of protein. When it comes to Greek yogurt it is important to read the labels. On average, a Greek yogurt without any added fruits will have a carbohydrate count as low as 6 grams per serving. These yogurts will also have a protein count of 12 – 16 grams per serving which is enough to keep the body fed. Be sure to watch the labels for the amount of added sugars from fruit or other forms of sugar that are sometimes added for flavor (try to stay away from these).
A whey protein blend is a great addition to add quality and quick protein to your intake. Whey blends usually include both fast burning and slow burning proteins. These blends on the whole will consist of casein, whey and usually another form of whey. The idea is for the blend to satiate the body in both the short and long term. The different whey proteins will feed the body right away and take away any hunger that you may be feeling, while the casein feeds the body in the long term. These blends can then can be made into shakes as well as frozen to make a type of ice cream style dessert.
Cottage cheese is another great form of late night food due to its high protein count. With an average of 11 – 12 grams per cup and a low cost, cottage cheese has the ability to fill you up without loading on calories and sugars. Choosing a low fat version to limit the number of overall fats you will take in when eating it.
Natural Peanut Butter
The most important fact here is to choose a natural peanut butter. Many of the lower-fat versions contain more carbohydrates to enhance flavor and also include higher levels of sodium. Adding a natural peanut butter will give you between 7 – 9 grams of quality protein with 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 9 grams of monosaturated fats. The monosaturated fats are great for slowing down the breakdown of proteins and keeping your body in an anabolic state. This means more muscle growth and less fat storage.
When choosing a snack for those late night binges it becomes important to not only know what is a good choice, but to understand why you should be choosing these snacks over others. Many times it seems just easier to grab some cookies and a glass of milk to munch on while watching TV or reading before bed. These are the snacks that will slowly derail your progress and keep you from reaching your goals. Some of the best decisions you can make are done when you want those sweet or healthy snacks. If planned correctly, you can have some tasty treats that will satisfy your hunger and keep you on track!