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Hungry Girl Today: 1.15.14


Dear Hungry Girl,

I have a nighttime snacking problem. I eat dinner at a reasonable hour, but I tend to stay up late. I'm always hungry and end up making bad choices. What can I do?

Midnight Muncher

Hi Midnight Muncher,

I think a lot of people struggle with night eating. First things first: If this happens regularly and you find yourself feeling very hungry, you might not be eating enough filling foods throughout the day. Click here for satisfying snack ideas packed with protein and/or fiber. It's also possible that your dinner choices are triggering you and leaving you feeling famished. So if carb-heavy pizza or pasta only leaves you feeling hungrier, consider veggie-and-protein-loaded salads or stir-frys instead.

As for those bad choices, I suggest keeping your personal trigger foods out of the house -- if you don't have 'em, you can't eat them! Trigger foods are things that you can't seem to stop eating once you start; ones that make you crave other foods too. These are different for everyone. Click here for more trigger-food advice. And stock up on healthy stuff that you find truly satisfying, like those snacks I mentioned before. Another tip? Keep a food journal. By tracking what you're eating and being accountable to yourself, you'll be less likely to make poor food decisions. (No one wants to write down "two sleeves of Oreos" in their food journal, right?!)

A couple of other possible causes for your p.m. eating? It could be that you're dehydrated -- it's common to confuse thirst with hunger. Try drinking a glass of water (I like mine hot with lemon), and then wait five or ten minutes to see if you're still hungry. It's also possible you're eating simply because you're bored. Distract yourself by painting your nails, reading a book, or emailing a friend. Better yet, just head off to bed a little earlier!

If you've had plenty of food for the day but still can't resist the need to have something before bed, make a 25-calorie packet of hot cocoa (chocolate fix!) or have a cup of broth-based soup (comforting and filling!). This should satisfy your needs without costing you a lot of calories.

Hope this helps! Now go get some ZZZZs…

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Today, January 15th, is National Strawberry Ice Cream Day. We'll be topping off a giant bowl of sliced strawberries with a scoop of light vanilla ice cream!

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