Late night snacks that won’t worry your waistline

We often hear that snacking late at night will slam the brakes on weight loss. What if we revealed late night snacks which won't derail your diet? It's true!

The fact is, calories do matter when you want to lose weight, but it's entirely possible to eat late at night and still lose weight. You just need to make smart choices, and pay attention to your over all daily caloric intake. In fact, there are some foods which will help you sleep, and keep you feeling fuller over night, so you're less likely to crave and overeat the next day. Here are 5 of the best late-night snacks which could actually help you lose weight!

1 Cottage cheese and nuts High protein snacks keep you feeling fuller for longer, and supply your body with amino acids (proteins) to help repair tissue and protect muscle mass. So, if you've worked hard in the gym or doing endurance sport, help your body recover overnight. Don't go for low-fat cottage cheese, instead use medium or even full fat versions: the fat will slow the digestion of the proteins even further. Top 150g cottage cheese with 20g nuts or nut butter (try almond butter) for the ultimate in sleep-inducing, muscle-repairing snack.

2 Turkey slices on oat cakes Some foods contain the amino acid tryptophan - cottage cheese is one, and turkey meat is another. Tryptophan encourages the body to release seratonin, the "happy hormone", which will help the body and mind wind down and sleep deeply. Turkey is also low fat, low carb and high protein, making it ideal to eat before a long period without food. Pair real (not processed) sliced turkey meat with all-natural oat cakes for a protein and carbohydrate snack which will kill cravings and bring on a feeling of blissful sleepiness.

3 Casein (milk protein) "ice-cream" If you workout regularly, chances are you use sports supplements. Is milk protein (casein) in your supplement stack? If not, get hold of some. This slow-release protein is ideal to take just before bed. Not only will it satisfy a sweet tooth (choose your favourite flavour) but can be made into an ice-cream style dessert for a totally healthy treat. Add water, ice cubes, a pinch of xantham gum, and a scoop of casein to your blender and voila: a creamy high protein dessert to drip-feed your muscles with amino acids for hours.

4 Quark and sliced coconut. Quark is a very high protein dairy product popular in Europe. Search the dairy aisle of your local store, and grab a carton. Use it like yoghurt (it's thicker: try topping it with 15-20g sliced natural coconut for a high protein dessert packed with amino acids, medium-chain triglycerides and healthy fats to stop your tummy rumbling (without your waistline expanding).

5 Protein porridge. Don't feel you have to wait until morning for your oatmeal. Porridge is a perfectly legitimate bedtime snack (yes, carbs after dark!) but with one caveat: only if you're active. If you have an active job, or train hard in the gym or for sport, you can definitely get away with porridge before bed. Carbohydrates encourage a surge of seratonin in the body which will make you feel sleepy and enjoy deeper, better sleep. Oats are a great choice as they are low GI and high in fibre for better over all health. Mix a scoop of protein powder, or some liquid egg whites (or a whole egg) into your cooked oats, or top with Greek yoghurt, and some nuts or nut butter.



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