The Fourth Meal: Is Late Night Snackin’ Really That Bad?

Staff Writer
The Fourth Meal: Is Late Night Snackin’ Really That Bad?

Luckily for you night owls, the answer is no (well, technically…). Experts at WebMD claim to have debunked this myth, explaining that weight gain is not based on a 24-hour clock: Rather, “It’s the total amount you take in over a period of time compared to how much you burn that determines if you will gain weight.”

However, there are some caveats to be wary of when dishing out those chips in the wee hours. If we are fatigued or stressed (…and let’s face it, when burning the midnight oil, your either A. studying or B. too hungover to be studying), eating right before bed can actually make digestion more difficult. When our bodies are fatigued at the end of the day, WedMD explains, “…there is a decrease in the number of contractions that move food through the system.”  This can cause gas, bloating and heartburn… all rather unpleasant study distractions, in my opinion.

So what’s a student to do?? That loud grumbling stomach will surely distract you, as well as the 15 other kids left in the library this late. We’ve compiled a list snacks that will power you up during your late-night studies or cravings.

1. Banana Dog Bites

A banana is a carbohydrate that will boost your energy, fast. Cover a piece of wheat pita with peanut butter. Wrap it around a banana and cut it into pieces for bite-sized snack. Find the recipe here.

2. Dried fruit and nuts


Photo by Sylvia Sankaran

This combination is a mix of good fats and protein and the nuts will provide you with a serious energy boost. However, be weary of how big your handfuls are — too many and all those carbs may result in sleepiness.

3. Whole-grain chips or pita with a tablespoon of hummus


Photo by Sylvia Sankaran

Whole-grains are a complex carbohydrate that will fill you up, while satisfying your stomach rumblings. In addition, the hummus consists of fiber and olive oil that further satiates feelings of hunger. If you’re looking for an even healthier option, switch the carbs up for vegetables.

4. Unsalted popcorn


Photo by Sylvia Sankaran

If you need a salty fix, popcorn is a perfect treat. It is healthier when it is made on a stove-top, due to some less than stellar ingredients in those store-packaged bags.

5. Strawberry Banana Yogurt 


Photo by Sylvia Sankaran

If you’re fantasizing about dessert, this is a healthy replacement snack. It is low in calorie, but tastes just like a strawberry cheesecake — you’re welcome.

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