Are you hungry at 2 am? Nutritionists recommend these 11 quick and easy snacks

If you’ve ever woken up at 2 a.m. with your stomach growling and staring at the ceiling wondering what to eat, this is for you. “If you’re hungry, you should eat something at any time of day,” says Aimee Takamura, registered dietitian and director of health and sustainability at Restaurant Associates. “Eating at night doesn’t affect your metabolism or cause many of the side effects you hear about. It’s the quantity and quality of food that you should think about.”

In fact, if you happen to be a night owl or someone who stays up late regularly, it’s normal to have late night cravings.

“We need to let go of the idea that our stomachs shut down at 6 p.m.,” says Dalina Soto, registered dietitian and founder of Your Latina Nutritionist. “You are still alive and your body needs energy.”

At times like these, you’ll want to reach for protein and fiber-rich foods for your meal. “I recommend mixing foods that contain fiber, lean protein, and heart-healthy fats,” says Takamura. “These foods provide a more sustained release of energy than sugary foods, which create a ‘rush’ after consumption.”

Some quick and easy snacks include Greek yogurt, nuts and seeds, crackers, popcorn, hummus, toast, scrambled eggs, low-fat cheese sticks, peanut butter or cereal, and milk. You may even want to have a snack before bed to get rid of late night cravings.

“If you’ve had a good dinner before bed, try to eat an hour or two before bed. Smoothies can be a great option because you can mix everything from fruits and vegetables to oats, flax, yogurt, avocado and more,” says Takamura. “It’s easier to drink and digest your food than to chew it, so something liquid can be ideal in the evening. Another Aim for a mix of protein, fat, and fiber.

But if you’re someone with indigestion, heartburn, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you’ll want to limit foods that trigger the response, such as fatty, spicy, and acidic foods, Takamura says. If you notice that you eat in the middle of the night, it may be time to talk to your doctor about seeing a health professional, such as a registered dietitian, behavioral therapist, physiotherapist or psychiatrist. personalized care.

“It’s wise for people with diabetes to check their blood glucose to see if hunger is related to blood glucose levels, which can help guide food choices,” advises Julie Grimm, national director of nutrition for the American Diabetes Association.

But if you’re always waking up hungry, you’ll want to make sure you’re eating enough throughout the day.

“I see a lot of people fill up on volume and fiber, but not calories, and then wonder why they’re hungry at night,” says Soto. “We shouldn’t be afraid of calories; they are the energy of our body. Check yourself and try not to exceed three to four hours.

As well as eating enough calories, it’s important to stay hydrated, which for the average person means drinking two to three liters of water a day.

“Water is crucial, but hydration goes beyond drinking water. Your diet also keeps you hydrated. All foods and liquids that contain liquid are hydrating for the body,” explains integrative nutritionist Selena Ayala. “Additionally, foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are high in water and contain fiber, which provides other nutrients to your body and diet.”

Cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, watermelon, and peaches are some examples of foods rich in water. Delicious foods like olives, pickles, celery, bone broth, and cottage cheese are also high in water.

Most importantly, experts recommend listening to your body’s needs.

“I believe in listening to the body’s cues and honoring desires,” says Ayala. “To treat night waking, it’s important to first address the root cause of the problem, whether it’s caffeine intake, dehydration or stress hormones. Principles: Balance cravings, keep it simple with light meals, maybe meal prep for dinner, and watch portion sizes. Then find the right size for the meal.’

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