Late Night Weight Loss Snacks That Won't Ruin Your Progress In 2022
By: Zack Mathews
It’s 9:30 pm and you are enjoying your favorite tv show when that little rumble starts in your stomach and your brain says “hey, let’s get something to eat”.
Can you relate?
Of course you can! We’ve all had that happen to us.
Now you want to figure out if late night weight loss snacks will ruin your progress or not.
It can be unsettling if you’ve had a great day of eating and now you’re worried if you can have a snack.
Coach Mathews is here for you.
In this article I will break down…
The good news is that in terms of weight loss, meal timing is irrelevant so you can absolutely have late night snacks. When it comes to weight loss, the most important factor is always calorie balance. Let’s take a look at a visual to make it easier to understand.
Take a look at these two individuals. Let’s say that they each can eat 2000 calories a day to maintain their weight.
Since weight loss is their goal, they both decide to eat 500 calories less than their maintenance, 1500, which will put them in a calorie deficit.
The gentlemen on the left eats a standard 3 meals a day at 500 calories, with no snacks, to hit his 1500 calories.
The lady on the right loves her late night snacks so she keeps her calories lower for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She still has 300 calories left out of her 1500, so she is able to still lose weight AND enjoy her favorite late night weight loss snack.
Does that make sense to you?
I hope so!
At the end of the day, it’s always about calorie balance. To prove that point, there was a professor who ate only junk foods like Twinkies and Oreros, and he was able to lose weight! Here’s the article if you want to read more about it.
Based on the last paragraph from the previous section, you could in theory eat whatever you wanted for your late night weight loss snack as long as it fit into your calorie range.
But if you were to eat a few hundred calories of junk before bed, chances are you might not feel your best the next morning.
That’s not the VBA Fitness way! I want you feeling and moving your best and that starts with making smart food choices.
For a great late night weight loss snack there are 5 building blocks that you want to design your snack around:
- High in protein
- Fruits and/or vegetables
- Whole grains
- Healthy Fat
The goal of a late night weight loss snack is to fill you up and keep you full to prevent further snacking and consuming extra calories that could potentially take you out of your deficit.
You can easily go from a calorie deficit (where you would lose weight) into a calorie surplus (where you would gain weight) by binging on foods that won’t fill you up.
Out of the 3 macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats), protein is the one that will keep you the most full.
If you can build your late night weight loss snacks around protein and add in one or more of the other building blocks, you are ending your night on a high note!
Now that you know that eating late at night is NOT bad for weight loss and you know the pillars of what your late night weight loss snacks should consist of, here’s a list of my favorite go to snacks.
- Cottage cheese with berries
- High protein, low calorie ice cream (such as Halo Top)
- Flavored edamame is a great salty snack that can replace a chip craving.
- Beef jerky
- Banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter
- Frozen berries with a serving of whip cream
- Rice cake with sliced strawberries
- Greek yogurt
- Yogurt parfait consisting of greek yogurt, protein powder, slivered almonds, and a drizzle of honey.
- Scrambled eggs (who said they have to be at breakfast only?!)
- Oatmeal with cinnamon and berries
- Protein powder with almond milk (or a pre made protein shake)
- Blended protein smoothie with almond milk, protein powder, powder peanut butter, berries, and ice
- “Light” popcorn
- Sugar free jello cups
As you can see, most of the snacks are high protein, but I do include foods that are not.
Maybe you’ve hit your protein goal for the day and really want popcorn while you watch the latest Marvel movie.
If that’s the case, have the dang popcorn!
Be smart by getting the lighter version, check the serving size, measure out how much you can afford, and enjoy it guilt free.
Having popcorn, sugar free jello, or Halo Top ice cream isn’t the “healthiest” option, but everything in moderation is ok.
Having those things in moderation may even help you stay more consistent with your plan. Here’s my thoughts on that.
C’mon, you should know that by now! Nothing is off limits as long as it fits into your calorie goal window.
I will say this though.
If you have certain foods that are a trigger for you and you know you can’t stop when you eat them, it’s best to create a barrier and not have them in your house.
Like the popcorn. Even though it’s light, if you have the whole bag it can add up in calories.
If that’s you, ditch that item and find things you can have in moderation that you enjoy.
Since your late night weight loss snack should be the last thing you eat for the day, the total calories should be an amount that puts you into your calorie range that is in a calorie deficit.
The 300 calorie snack in the example above was a made up number that fit into that person’s calorie deficit.
If you have 500 calories, enjoy a couple things. Down to 100? Be smart and opt for the lower calorie choices above like a small bowl of berries with whip cream or a protein shake.
Now if you are reading this and you have no idea how many calories you should be eating each day, you need to find that out asap.
To help you out, I would recommend reading my article Macros For Weight Loss. It’s an in depth guide that will walk you through how to find your correct numbers.
Are there any snacks I’m missing?
Leave a comment below with your favorite late night weight loss snack.