Healthy Late-Night Snack Ideas

When it's time to sit down for the night and watch your favorite sitcom or late-night talk show, you're probably going to want to reach for a tasty snack. Unfortunately, eating unhealthy foods after a certain time can be worse for you than you think. Nutritionist Manuel Villacorta told Men's Fitness magazine that "when you overeat before bed, your body is much more likely to store those calories as fat."

Although, that doesn't mean you have to skip the snacking completely. Instead of searching for the sweet chocolate or salty bag of potato chips, consider making a healthier choice. Men's Fitness said you should choose something that's less than 300 calories, because anything more is basically a meal. Have no fear – there are plenty of delicious, healthy snacks you can have before bed without ruining the progress of your diet.

Here are seven delicious and healthy snack ideas that'll help you curb those late night cravings:

Strawberry smoothie – Blend kefir – creamy, cultured yogurt – strawberries and a teaspoon of honey to create a delicious protein shake full of probiotics. It's like a healthy version of a strawberry milkshake.

Multigrain pretzels – If you're looking for a salty snack that acts as a great alternative to greasy potato chips, grab some multi grain pretzels. About a handful is just a little over 100 calories, so you can afford more than a few.

Fancy crackers – For a step above a plain cheese and cracker snack, doll up a multi grain cracker with hummus, light cheese, a small slice of lean lunch meat and vegetable slices. It's like a small open-faced sandwich at your disposal.

Popcorn – Pop yourself a bowl of fat-free popcorn and skip the butter. Instead, flavor your snack with spices from your cupboard, such as cinnamon or cayenne pepper, depending on your flavor palette.

Cottage cheese – Shape magazine suggested grabbing 2/3 cup of full-fat cottage cheese to help you get rid of the late night cravings. It's low in carbs and high in protein, which can help you feel fuller. If you want to give the dish some extra flavor, add a teaspoon of honey or a few blueberries.

Greek yogurt and pomegranate seeds – Greek yogurt has about twice the protein and half the carbs as regular yogurt and it makes a great late-night snack when paired with pomegranate seeds. The tartness of the pomegranate adds a great boost of flavor for the perfect snack.

Coconut chocolate shake – If you're looking for a late night snack that resembles a chocolate milkshake, this is the choice for you. Simply mix 3 tablespoons of coconut milk, 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder and 1 teaspoon of flaxseed meal for a delicious low calorie, high protein drink.