Late night snacking is one of the problems that so many of us are dealing with. If you can relate (and I have a feeling you can!), this post is for you!
Larger Meals vs Snacks
Why do I want to avoid excess snacking? Because I've realized that snacking too often doesn't work for my body well; when I just snack and snack and snack, those calories add up, yet I never feel fully satisfied.
Eating larger meals and having longer breaks between the meals works better for me. That, however, doesn't mean that I never snack–I do, but I try not to do it very often.
Snacking or eating often can work really well for other people. One of the reasons why people may prefer to eat often, every 2-3 hours or so, is that it may help them to keep blood sugar levels more stable, so they don't lose their mind when they get hungry.
I personally got over this problem when I started eating fat again–no low-fat or no-fat diets for me anymore, thanks!
We All Want To Avoid Late Night Snacking
But whether you like to eat large meals or small snacks in general, what most of us try to avoid is mindless snacking that usually happens at night.
Are you familiar with the need for “little something” after dinner, that eventually turns into seven trips to kitchen to have a spoonful of nut butter, a small handful of chocolate chips, “just one” cookie, and a few handfuls of trail mix?
This is a habit that may prevent you from achieving your weight, fat loss and performance goals. That's why I asked my favorite bloggers how they deal with late night snacking.
Blogger Roundup: How to Avoid Late Night Snacking?
Here are the tips they shared:
Kate at SoCal Runner Gal
“I am definitely a late night snacker by nature so I make sure to always have fresh fruit on hand to nosh on after dinner. Fruit is essentially my dessert and the fiber helps to keep me full until bedtime.
In the winter months when fruit isn't quite as delicious, I drink a cup of tea with some honey before bed to satisfy that urge for something sweet.”
Jess at Blonde Ponytail
“I get the “snackies” at night too, especially if I'm sleep deprived, which is often as a mom to a 3 year old and an almost 7 month old. On these days especially, I focus on increasing my protein intake to reduce sugar cravings later in the day.”
Ashley at A Lady Goes West
“If you want to stop late-night snacking, there are a couple of ways you can go about it. When you feel the need to eat, just making yourself a mug of flavored herbal tea can keep you occupied and give your taste-buds a little bit of flavor.
Of course, you could also institute a time when you totally close the kitchen down after dinner. If you clean up the dishes, turn the lights off at that time and stay away from the pantry and fridge totally, you’ll be in the clear.
You just need to give yourself some boundaries. And maybe you get rewarded with a nice hot bath if you stick to it. Find another way to soothe yourself that doesn’t involve eating. Good luck!”
Monica at Run Eat Repeat
“I like making a huge mug of tea that I make very sweet and creamy with almond milk and stevia. It's so filling to sip a hot delicious drink so after I'm done I fill satisifed.”
Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers
“On nights when I'm feeling particularly snacky but not really hungry, I will just try to get into bed early! Once I'm in bed, my mind is no longer focused on the pantry and I can focus on unwinding and relaxing.
And, with a new baby, I can ALWAYS use a little extra sleep these days, so if I fall asleep early, that's all the better!”
Jasmin at Coach Jasmin
“My top three tips would be to either go to bed earlier, have a small post dinner treat, or to drink tea instead of eating!
Personally, I like chamomile as it helps me to relax before bed! I also give myself a little treat after dinner if I am felling something sweet, typically a small bowl of peanut butter and chocolate chips, or a piece of dark chocolate.
My husband and I will then play a game, read our books, chat on the porch, or watch a show (We've been watching Le Tour De France together and LOVE IT!!) And go to bed around 9:30 p.m. Since doing these things, I rarely ever have even a craving for a late night snack!!”
Adele at The Fit Life with Adele
My number one tip to avoid a late night, mindless snacking is to actually allow yourself a snack.
Awareness is always the first step. Learn to ask yourself if you're really hungry or not and why you're doing what you were doing. Are you bored, lonely, stressed? Even if you keep snacking you are at least in the beginning stages of change and are able to address why you were doing what you were doing.
Once you are aware, set a plan. Instead of trying to resist any morsel of food for the entire evening, and then inevitably snacking your way through the kitchen, allow yourself one small satisfying snack. A glass of wine. An apple and peanut butter. A scrambled egg and piece of toast.
If these snacks seem too filling, then chances are you're not really hungry. But if you were truly hungry you will give yourself something satisfying.”
A lot of good tips, right? Upping your protein intake during the day, having a mug of hot tea, reading and going to bed earlier are all good ideas. And sometimes eating a small snack may do the trick–having something small is not going to ruin your diet if you don't overdo it.
Are you struggling with late night snacking too? What are your ways to avoid it? Please share!