Let's be clear about one thing: Self-control when it comes to snacks is damn near impossible. You're not weak—you're human. When those post-dinner hunger pangs punch your stomach, you can't help but drag yourself out of bed and claw through the fridge for anything edible. Do you.
The downside of this late-night noshing, of course, is the morning-after food hangover—you know exactly what we're talking about. You regret everything you ate seven hours prior and writhe in your jeans just to get the button and zipper to snap closed. Sound familiar? Thought so. No need to cut this habit altogether—just tweak your evening menu. For help, we asked Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet, and Keri Glassman, R.D., founder of Nutritious Life, for their favorite picks. Nom, nom, nom.
Almonds (23 nuts)
They're packed with vitamin E (great for your complexion), protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, but too many can get caloric. Cut yourself off after roughly 20 and avoid the salted ones—sodium promotes bloating.
Peppermint, Ginger, or Chamomile Tea (1 Cup)
TMI(?) but these hot sips, um, help you "break wind"—gas is a common belly bloater.
Strawberries, Raspberries, (1 Cup Each), Grapefruit (1/2 of a Whole One), or Clementines (2 Whole Ones)
You want to stay away from fruits with tons of sugar (i.e. apples and grapes) because the sweet stuff absorbs fluids and makes you feel puffy. These options all contain water—always a filling, healthy choice—and are loaded with immunity-strengthening antioxidants and vitamins.
The stalks have probiotic-like properties to clean out your digestive systems. Portions don't really matter—no one gained weight from eating too much asparagus in the history of ever.
Low-Fat Greek Yogurt (1/2 Cup) with Berries (1/2 Cup)
Rich in probiotics, Greek yogurt helps keep your GI tract (digestive system) balanced and promotes good gut bacteria. Add some fruits from above for a kick of flavor. But if your stomach can't handle dairy, avoid.
Celery (1 Cup) with Hummus (2 Tablespoons)
So. Much. Fiber. Satiate your appetite with a few chomps of the chickpea-veggie combo.
Chicken, Turkey, or Grilled Fish (4 to 6 Ounces Each)
Lean protein revs up your metabolism to help you burn calories long after you've fallen asleep. We'll take it.
Papaya (1 Cup)
Unlike the other fruits, papaya has a digestive enzyme in it geared toward helping your stomach move food out faster.
Avocado (1/2 of a Whole One)
Thank god for the healthy fats in avocados, which settle whatever craving you're feeling.
Water (1 Glass)
All hail the liquid of life. Make sure to drink a cup before bed to flush out sodium, which retains water like sugar, in your body. Avoid the bubbly kind as carbonation increases gas.
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