I’m sitting here in my PJ’s tap, tap tapping away on a deadline, and boy do I have a hunger. It’s 10.29pm, and despite having a well-rounded dinner with the kids at 6.30, I’m starving.
Over the last few hours, in a bid to satiate my hunger, I’ve consumed the following: 1 mini bag of unsalted popcorn, 2 carrot sticks, 3 rice crackers, and 4 Hershey Kisses. But I’m still hungry. I feel like The Hungry Caterpillar in that kids’ book, albeit in a black nightie.
You can tell by my list of food that I’ve scoffed, I am trying to be healthy about what I’m shoving in to my gob right now. Only thing is, I’ve run out of options and ideas, and am about to reach for what I call the ‘kid’s bribe box’ which is filled with Caramello Koala chocolates, Tiny Teddy biscuits, various Scooby Doo branded snacks, and a couple of PEZ.
Which makes me wonder:
What’s a girl to do when she’s got that late night hunger that can’t be satiated, but doesn’t want to stack on the kgs?”
So I turned to my buddy, nutritionist Savannah Daisley from The Wellness Factory for advice.
Why am I still wanting to snack after I’ve had a well-rounded dinner?
“A lot of our food today is loaded with sugar. Mainly in the form of processed foods which you find in the Supermarket aisle.
If you’re eating sugar and processed carbohydrates with dinner or dessert, such as white flour, bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, pastries – and just about anything in a packet that’s not from a health food shop – it’ll disrupt your blood sugar levels making you more and more hungry. So it’s best to avoid these types of foods with your evening meal.”
So what should I be eating so I don’t get those late-night munchies?
“Protein (eggs, fish, chicken, grass-fed meat) and good fats (healthy cold-pressed oils, avocados, nuts and seed, deep sea fish) along with vegetables and low GI fruit. These will balance your blood sugar levels, keep insulin low, and in turn will suppress your appetite as it’ll make you feel full for longer. So you’ll stop running to the fridge for those late night snacks.”
Ok, but if I’m still hungry later at night, what should I consume?
“Firstly, avoid anything with sugar in it, or white flour based snacks like crackers. Our bodies aren’t designed to metabolize refined sugar, and if you are consuming it in late night snacks, something else undesirable happens too: your pancreas will secrete extra insulin (which is a fat-storing hormone) and that excess sugar will be turned into extra fat cells. Put plainly, you’ll increase your body fat.
Instead, choose healthy low GI snacks that are straight from the land, such as protein, fruit and vegetables – there’s a million delicious choices out there!”
Sav’s 7 favourite late-night snacks
Try these fast tasty low GI snacks that’ll fill you up, keep your blood sugar levels balanced, and help to keep you trim:
- Sugar-free yogurt with low GI berries
- Celery or carrot sticks with peanut butter or hummus
- Nori sheets with avocado, tomato, wasabi and tamari
- Turkey rolls with avocado sprouts and some rocket
- A quick salad with avocado, lemon juice and olive oil
- Tomato with basil, olive oil and bocconcini
- Smoked salmon or ocean trout with dill, low-fat sour cream, lemon and capers
What’s your favourite (healthy) late night snack?
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