5 Late-Night Snacking Solutions

Oct 10 2018
Question@2x Hi Hungry Girl,

Help! I’m a chronic late-night snacker, and it’s totally undoing the good choices I make during the day. Do you have any advice to help me get back on track?

Late-Night Nibbler
Answer@2x Hi Late-Night Nibbler,

I’m really glad you emailed me. This is SUCH a common problem, and it’s a shame to let it torpedo your otherwise healthy eating habits. Here’s how to stop those cravings in their tracks!

Have a Post-Dinner Plan... Besides TV

There’s nothing wrong with a relaxing night of TV viewing, but let’s be honest: We’re more likely to binge eat when we binge watch. Plan your evening like you plan your day: Schedule a walk around the block, pick one show to enjoy, call a friend, paint your nails, etc. These healthy distractions will keep your mind off food. Then head to bed earlier than usual for a good night’s sleep!

Take the Hydration Challenge

Those after-dinner hunger pangs might be your body’s way of telling you it’s thirsty. It sounds weird, I know, but the symptoms of dehydration (even mild) are similar to the signs of hunger. So here’s your challenge: The next time that late-night “hunger” hits, drink a glass of water (8 - 16 oz.) and wait 10 minutes. If you’re still hungry, you know it’s real, so reach for a healthy snack. (More on that below.) And if you struggle to drink enough water, here are some fantastic tips.

Try Low- to No-Calorie Options

Satisfy your snacking urges by sipping on dessert-flavored tea (like Red Rose Sweet Temptations) or chewing on sugar-free gum. For a nutrient-packed pick, choose crunchy veggies paired with salsa. Your mouth will be occupied, and your calorie intake will be low. Win-win!

Plan for Snacking

Sometimes the best way to handle late-night snacking is to plan for it. Look at your calorie budget for the day, and set aside a snack-sized number of calories for the evening. Use a food journal or an app like MyFitnessPal to keep track of what you’ve eaten throughout the day, so you don’t blow your budget. And make sure your meals are filled with fiber and protein to keep you satisfied.

Replace Trigger Foods with Guilt-Free Snacks

When it comes to snack selections, you’ll want to avoid anything that triggers the can’t-stop phenomenon. For some people, that’s an open gallon of ice cream. For me, it’s crunchy, salty snacks like chips and pretzels. Keep your fridge and pantry free of trigger foods, or banish those foods to the back if your family eats them. Out of sight, out of mouth! Then stock up on better-for-you fixes. Here are some of my favorites...

Savory Snacks
• veggies + low-calorie dips (like this guiltless guac)
• meat snacks (like DiMario)
• light popcorn or 94% fat-free microwave popcorn
• broth-based soup
Mini Babybel or light string cheese

Sweet Snacks
• light yogurt or fat-free Greek yogurt (flavored or sweetened with no-calorie sweetener)
• Enlightened ice cream (bars & pints)
• fruit + dessert dips
• kid-sized snack bars (like Clif Kid ZbarLarabar Kid & KIND Kids)
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Chew on this:

Happy National Cake Decorating Day, October 10th! Get your sprinkle on with these Tie-Dye for Cupcakes...

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