Do Midnight Snacks Promote Weight Loss? #weightloss #dieting #healthylivingIt's been said that nothing good happens after midnight–on the roads, in the bars and especially in the kitchen.

But let's face it: sometimes the body just needs a midnight snack.

Whether or not snacking in the wee hours of the night is good or bad for weight loss is an argument that's been around longer than the "caveman diet." Some experts say a late-night/early morning is one of the worst things a person can do while trying to lose weight. Others say it can't hurt and might even help.

Truth is, no one really knows for sure whether or not midnight snacking hurts or helps. But there is one thing everyone agrees on: If you wake up in the middle of the night and you're hungry, you shouldn't let your grogginess lead to bad decisions. Make smart decisions, even if sleepy, and you'll be more likely to keep your diet on track.

That means reaching for healthy, low-fat foods instead of candy, potato chips and leftover pizza.

Look for something that will fire up your metabolism–lean, low-carb meats like beef jerky or chicken breast, green vegetables like broccoli or peppers or even an apple (just don't let the crunching wake up the entire house).

These foods won't wreck your diet, and they'll actually provide great fuel for your morning workout. Oh, that's the other thing–if you're going to have a midnight snack and you're serious about losing weight, plan to get up a little early the next morning and do a little cardio.

It doesn't have to be anything grueling–a 20-minute walk, bike ride or jog. Just do something to turn those calories you consumed the night before into muscle.

And about those calories: Make sure you're not sitting down for a three-course meal. Keep your snack to a minimum. Remember, it's easier not to eat the calories than it is to get rid of them once you've digested them.

So is midnight snacking good or bad? Nobody knows for sure. But if you are going to snack at midnight, make it part of your overall diet plan.