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To Snack or Not to Snack?

By Donna Kostiew

It’s a couple of hours after dinner and you find yourself standing at the refrigerator or pantry with the door open. Just standing there. Staring. Contemplating on whether or not you should have that snack before you head to bed. All kinds of logic run through my brain when I find myself in that scenario. It’s as if I am creating a spreadsheet in my mind with the pros and cons of simply eating a snack. Some nights, I feel as if I do more thinking while standing in the light of my refrigerator than I do all day. It’s kind of ridiculous.

Snacking at Night

For some reason, snacking at night has gotten a bad reputation, causing many people to feel bad about doing it. And true, sometimes it can be more about habit than hunger, but I know that there are times when it truly does help me sleep better having a little something in my belly. These usually occur if I had an early or small dinner or if I worked out in the evening and feel as if I need to replenish my body.

When and What Should you Snack On?

If you are going to snack at night, make sure to do it at least an hour or two before your head hits the pillow. Also, be sure to use the same criteria that you do for choosing healthy snacks during the day. So if you are too tired to put forth the effort at night, then consider doing some “late-night snack preparation” during the day or at the beginning of the week. Here are some good, nutrient-rich suggestions for snacking before bed.

  • Greek yogurt
  • Small bowl of oatmeal
  • Fruit
  • Veggies
  • Hummus
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Unsalted almonds

Stay Away from These

No matter how tired you are or how easy pre-packaged, processed foods can be, don’t make the mistake of choosing them. Here are some examples of what to stay away from.

  • Anything with caffeine
  • Fried foods
  • Packaged snack foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt
  • Alcohol

When Should You Skip the Snacking Altogether?

It is smart to take note if your hunger is spiking simply because you are bored and relaxed in front of the TV. If this is the case, and you had enough to eat during the day, a late-night snack may not be the smartest idea. When this kind of hunger strikes, try sipping on a cup of tea, or do something else to get rid of the boredom or that will lead you into sleep (like reading or taking a bath).

The most important point to remember is that you need to get a good night’s rest. And if you are having trouble achieving that, whether you’re snacking or not, you can always come in to The Joint Chiropractic for help and improved sleep.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Marcos, Calif.

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