Q:I document all of my calories in & out with the "Lose It" app. I am finding that after I log my dinner I am not at the allotted calorie mark I should be...sometimes 300 cals left to consume. Besides front loading, what foods CAN I have after dinner that would get me closer to my calorie goal for the day, that arent destructive to my diet plan.
First, I love the preemptive strike on front loading. That would definitely be the first line of defense. For those who dont know,front loading means having more calories and carbs in the morning when the metabolism is highest v/s having them in the evening.
If you need to have a snack in the evening, keeping it as low glycemic as possible is a good idea as the metabolism is slower in the evening. Overloading on carbs can make the body more likely to store fat as you are not burning them off while you are sleeping.
Here is a list of balanced late-night snacks if you need something. The best rule is to try not to eat after dinner, but there are exceptions to every rule.
- ½ cup cottage cheese with ½ cup berries
- Leftovers from dinner like 2 oz. chicken with ½ cup green beans
- Frozen Banana Ice Cream (click for recipe on website). Bananas are on the higher glycemic side of fruit but are still a great alternative to the common late night choices.
- Chocolate Shake With A Healthy Kick (also on the website). This entire shake clocks in at only 60 calories and has about10 carbs. It is fantastic and really can help with a sweet craving.
- 2 cups of air popped popcorn with 10 nuts of your choice. Sprinkle some salt and Parmesan cheese on the popcorn for extra flavor. Popcorn has a glycemic index that varies from about 55 (moderate) to 89 (high). Air popped popcorn is free from additives and chemicals which can make the glycemic index higher. You can purchase an air popper or just put kernels in a brown lunch bag (tightly closed) in the microwave.
- Greek yogurt. Look HERE for some of my favorite Greek yogurt ideas.
- Greek yogurt or cottage cheese topped with Low Carb Granola. It is not really granola, but it tastes fantastic. Just be careful as it is really yummy. A tablespoon is enough to give you great flavor. You can add whatever nuts and seeds you like. Just keep the quantities the same as the recipe.
- Make your own hot chocolate with unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
- ½ Luna Protein Bar. My favorite flavor is cookie dough. I cut it in ½ and then into little pieces and put it in the fridge or freezer. It sort of mimics the little frozen cookie dough ice cream bites that you can get at the grocery store or the movies.
- Ezekial Bread with 1 tablespoon almond butter. Ezekial bread is a lower glycemic bread that contains no refined sugars or refined grains. According to a variety of sources, Ezekial bread has a glycemic index of 36 compared to traditional bread which has an index of around 100 (varies by type and brand). This product can be found in the freezer section of many grocery stores. Keeping it in the freezer is important as it contains no preservatives. It is fantastic toasted with almond butter, cheese, or anything else you want to put on top.