Late night cravings are just one of the many struggles many of us face when trying to lose body fat. This makes complete sense, to be honest. Our bodies are designed to want to eat when we feel the slightest bit of hunger. You can say thank you to mother nature for making that craving part of our biological evolution. You see, for the better part of all of human existence we didn’t have plenty of food around all the time (the complete opposite of today). In addition, we had to hunt, forage, grow, and scavenge for whatever animals, plants, and crops our bodies could ingest and use for fuel. Alas, things are very, very different. So, the very evolutionary trait that helped us survive for many millennia is now expanding our waistlines and damaging our health. Fear not! Here are a few food items that can help satisfy those late night cravings and help you continue your journey to a healthier, better you!
#1 Casein Protein Shake
This should come as no surprise to those of you who have read my previous articles. I’m a BIG fan of protein shakes for muscle building and fat loss. But, why casein? For those of you not familiar there are two types main types of animal derived protein sources: whey and casein. They do the same thing except casein is a slower digesting protein enzyme. It’s useful for late night cravings because it’ll fill you up and be nice on your belly when you go to sleep. Whey is preferred after a workout but that’s another topic entirely.
So, how much should you consume? That depends on how big you are. I’m 200lbs and consume a 30-35g casein shake every night (even on non training days). Now, if you just mix it with water it won’t taste bad but you won’t enjoy it either. To spruse things up I use a low calorie almond or cashew milk and some ice. This turns my bland protein shake into a “chocolate milk shake” knockoff. Seriously, depending on how much protein and milk you use it can be quite thick. This is a good time to throw in some healthy greens like spinach is you want to get a few more vitamins and fiber in your diet. With multiple flavors of casein powder (vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate) you can change it up or pick your favorite.
WARNING! Casein is dairy based (there is no such thing as a non-dairy casein protein powder).
#2 Protein Pudding
This has become a recent favorite of mine (like, I literally eat this every night for the last 3 weeks). The recipe is simple and there’s no cooking required. Simply combine the following ingredients into a bowl and mix with a fork until it looks like pudding:
- 1 to ½ scoops of Casein Protein Powder (you can sub in another protein powder but this works best)
- 1 to ½ cup of Fat Free Greek Yogurt
- ½ to ¼ Cup of Water or Almond/Cashew Milk or Fat Free/Skim Milk
That’s it! Stir it up and eat it like pudding. I’ve only used chocolate casein powder and I have trouble putting the spoon down.
#3 Cottage Cheese Omelet
OK, so this one may take a grand total of 5 min. but it’s totally worth it! Turn you stove on and set to Medium and combine the following ingredients into a bowl:
- ¼ to ½ Cup of Egg Whites (throw an extra whole egg if you wish)
- ¼ of Fat Free Cottage Cheese
When the skillet is warm you can spray EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) on the pan and pour in your mixed bowl of egg whites and cottage cheese. Wait a few minutes and then flip or fold over. Wait another minute or two and serve. That’s it!
You can flavor this up with any veggies you choose. I recommend cooking those first then mixing into the omelet when they’re ready. You can add some more healthy fat into the diet by slicing up ½ to ¼ of an avocado and setting them on the omelet. Lean protein and healthy fat? I say yes!
You read that correctly. I said “pancakes!” Nope, not the Bisquick® mix you’re thinking of using tonight. It requires no pancake mix whatsoever! Of course, there are a few high protein pancake mixes on the market (Kodiak Pancakes® comes to mind). However, while tasty they are high in carbohydrates which means they’re higher in calories. If going on a “bulking” protocol then I would recommend those. If the goal is fat loss then I would steer clear and use this recipe instead. In a bowl, combine the following ingredients:
- 1/2 to 1 Banana (mash it with a fork BEFORE adding any other ingredients to the bowl)
- 1 Whole Egg
- ½ Scoop of Protein Powder
- 2 Tablespoons of Almond Butter (you can use other nut butters but this was my favorite)
Put a skillet on the stove and set the temperature to Medium. Spray with EVOO and pour your mixed bowl into it. You’ll make several smaller pancakes but they cook fast so don’t worry. You’ll know it’s time to flip the pancakes when you begin to see bubbles on the surface of the pancake. This batch should make 3-5 small pancakes. You can add a little sugar free syrup if you wish but I think they taste fine just the way they are (maybe add a little calorie free whip cream….no judging).
There you have it. Four go-to recipes for late night snacking that taste good! If you have other recipes you enjoy please let me know.
STAY FIT MY FRIENDS!