Curb Late Night Snacking

Curb Late Night Snacking

How to curb late night snacking? That seems to be the question of many a mind. Just stop eating they say! The answer to this dilemma may not be as simple though.

Reasons Why We Eat at Night: The scientific explanation states that our hunger is controlled via the secretion of hormones in a pattern known as the Circadian Rhythm.

This causes us to crave starches and sugars around the hour of eight pm.

This may have been useful for our ancestors back in the day enabling them to store fat at times when food was not so abundant but isn’t applicable today.

So how can we stop?

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1) Routines (Make Them or Break Them!)

Many of us work the basic nine to five which means evenings to us represent a time in which to relax or catch up on chores and errands.

Evening hours tend to be less structured than at work and so it leaves room for our hands to wander into the random potato chip bag.

Try multitasking.

Instead of ravaging around in a bowl of popcorn while enjoying your favorite TV sitcom, try folding laundry, or organizing your mail.

Take time to set the table and have sit down dinner. This aids in increased satisfaction and reduced intake while fostering bonds between family members.

Ensure that you have a post dinner routine. After dinner doesn’t always have to come dessert. Try some other pleasurable option to reward yourself for a day of hard work, such as taking the dog for a walk, playing with kids or meeting up with family.

2) Control Your Surroundings

Purge that pantry and those cupboards from all unhealthy options and restock with foods which have good nutritious value. That’s one way to keep your hand out of the cookie jar.

The latest fad in the fitness world seems to be that of ‘meal prep’. Instead of reaching for Chinese takeout on the way home, preparing balanced meals ahead of time is an ideal way to ensure a proper dinner which is only a microwave away.

We live in a world which is dominated by social media. How many of us spend our last waking hours scrolling through our Instagram and Facebook feeds which are inundated everyday with images of food?

Take time to remove some of those temptations so the last thing you see at night isn’t a cheeseburger.

3) Self Love

Take time for yourselves. The most important person is you.

Get enough sleep ensuring that you are well rested on mornings and have time to prepare the most important meal, breakfast.

By having a breakfast packed with proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats, one can keep fuller throughout the day due to the combination of fast and slow release sugars.

Don’t starve.

Yes you may have that next meeting to get to but skipping lunch isn’t the best way to do it. That just puts your hunger into overdrive and before you know it you will be that person scarfing nachos on the interstate on your drive home.

4) Mind Over Matter

Look at food for what it is, not how it makes you feel. Food is meant as a source of fuel for our bodies, helping them to regenerate and work at maximum capacity.

Serious interventions are required for serious problems.

Make yourself accountable to others. Involve friends and family members in your decisions so that your cravings are controlled not only by yourself but by others who want the best for you.

5) Tips And Tricks

Its a long road to recovery so here are some tips to help you get from day to day. When feeling hungry try brushing your teeth or having something minty to reduce your appetite.

Have a glass of water instead of food, since sometimes thirst signals can be mistaken for that of hunger. Set a timer and only allow yourself to snack ten minutes after your craving hits. Chances are you will forget about that sudden urge after only two.

Try to supplement with multivitamins so that your body is well supplied with nutrients and doesn’t crave salt and sweet.

These are just a few ways in which you can curb late night snacking. Its up to you to find out which trick works for you!

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29 thoughts on “Curb Late Night Snacking

  1. Such great tips. I mostly agree with your second tip on controlling your surroundings. I noticed that whenever celebrities needed to lose some weight, they would purge their pantries of bad food. Having bad food around is a great temptation and its only a matter of time before you indulge. How would you advice a mother with teenage kids and young adults to purge their pantries. It is hard to control what they eat when they are around, and I find my self indulging more frequently than I’d like to!

    1. Wow that’s a pretty hard one Mimi – have you considered having two separate food storage systems? Maybe also throw in some discipline and see how it goes? 🙂

  2. My stance on nutrition, particularly late night snacking, is very similar to how I think about workout programs, this is, most of them work if you’re dedicated. With eating habits I believe that the inner workings are mostly the same… of course, a little hacking is welcome and sometimes necessary.
    Some feel that having a great breakfast helps with craving later on in the day and I’m sure it works for some people. Personally I like the intermittent fasting approach, where most of my calories are at night about 2 hours before bed. I’m not a big breakfast guy.
    Controlling your surroundings is HUGE. If you have all those goodies lying around in your cupboard or pantry… you’re gonna eat them!!

    1. Most of your calories are at night 2 hours before you sleep? Okay, that’s a new one on me Nicholas (that’s probably one of the worst things you can do if you’re trying to lose weight!)

  3. Hi Chris,

    There are many people with success by doing intermittent fasting. With this approach I have managed to maintain a body fat % of 9%-10%. As long as you keep your calories within your needs (for whatever result you’re seeking) it doesn’t matter when you eat them. There are several studies on this. Of course, setting appropriate macro ratios is important too.

    1. Hi Nicholas,

      We have heard of this intermittent fasting but are still on the fence with it at the moment. One of our writers is on the topic so we might release an article covering it soon! 🙂

  4. Hi Chris
    I particularly like your tip about setting the alarm for ten minutes when the craving hits and then only eat.

    I have never heard of this, but sure as hell am going to give this a go!!!

    One other thing, when I get the craving, I try to grab a banana or a fruit instead of junk food.Thanks for the good advice here…

    Will implement some of them…..from now on!

    Take Care

  5. This really is the thing that kills me.

    As soon as it gets to 8-9PM, I just want to eat a lot of chocolate and chips. I never knew why this was, but you explained it well so I now do.

    I am not in bad shape, but I could be a lot better if I stopped all the snacking before bed. I am going to work extremely hard to cut this snacking out of my diet and improve my health in general.

    Thanks for your informative article!

  6. You have brought up some excellent points. The main things that I have found in my journey for great health and losing weight you have hit on them here. Being prepared , having a made up mind, but also putting yourself in a good position before the cravings come is very important.

    Finding some great healthy snack foods is one way to pre-empt those bad late night snack attacks. Last night I had some Cottage Cheese , peanuts and Cheez its. Even thought Cheez its are not a great snack food . They are better than what my body wanted. So at the very least I did not lose that battle I tied. Great site thanks for your a great article that will help many people be healthier!

    1. No problem mate…but just one question?

      You say Cheez Its were a better choice than what your body wanted…what did your body want? I bet it was pretty bad LOL 🙂

  7. Great tips Chris. I can’t have regular milk but I have found that other milks work well as a little snack before bed that is healthy and keeps you satisfied. Unsweetened almond coconut milk or soy (if you drink soy) and other non-dairy milks have a good nutrients also. Soy milk has a lot of protein, coconut milk has a lot of healthy fat and almond and coconut milk has more calcium than dairy milk.

    Of course the brand matters as some brands have unhealthy fillers and some have a ton of added sugar.

    1. Funnily enough we have a lot of non-dairy milks in our house due to my two year old son being allergic to dairy. As you point out, most of them are pretty high in good elements for the the body’s health!

  8. I think I should bookmark the post for my sister. My sister is a typical example of curb late night snacking. She has a nine-five job. So, the only entertainment time for her is after 11 at night. She always eats snacks when scrolling Facebook. It is probably down to the fact there are loads of food pictures on Facebook!

    “Control the surrounding” is the most important point for my sister. She should unsubscribe to all the food posts that pop up in her timeline…

    My sister failed in changing her routine due to her nine-five job. She cannot have the meal on a regular time. Can you give her some tips about changing routine?


    1. Hi Billy,

      First and foremost – what kind of breakfast is your sister eating before work every morning? Breakfast can really make or break a day of bad eating habits!

      Another important point to cover is if she knows the difference between emotional and physical hunger? A lot of people eat out of boredom – especially at night time. This is not good!

      I get the feeling that your sister is one of those girls that likes to have the kitchen cupboards stocked up with junk food – this is another big red flag. It is super-easy to purge your home of junk food – just get it out and don’t buy it during the weekly shop!

      You may also want to mention to her that drinking plenty of water throughout the day is a good way to drill down the feelings of hunger – this is a simple yet very effective way to control your intake of calories.

      Hope this helps – please read the article above once again to make sure you have picked up on all the pointers!

      Good luck! 🙂

  9. Breakfast is a key meal, but I probably could do a better job of what I eat for breakfast.  I also need to clear out the cupboards, after xmas I have tons of chocolate and stuff that is too tempting.

    The problem I have is I spend a lot of time in the car, and it is easy to grab fast food then have to stop.  This is something I have tasked myself this year with cutting out completely.

    Definitely some good points here, thanks

    1. Ah we all have that sort of crap left over after the Christmas period John – you’re not alone there! 

      The car is a problem, I know what it’s like to eat on the road. Just need a bit of willpower mate! 🙂

  10. I honestly did not know there was a scientific reason for late night snacking, but it does make sense! I have a weakness for sweets, but it gets really strong at night, right before bed. These are great tips for taking control over those cravings and for avoiding health issues later. I know I’m definitely going to try the mint and water trick as soon as possible, it seems like a small habit I can change to make a big difference later. Thanks for the education, I feel more empowered to do better! God Bless

  11. Some great tips, definitely filling your tummy with a glass of water is effective, but certainly not as enjoyable as a packet of crisps/chips!

    I’ve read about the 21 days it takes to form a habit and can absolutely vouch for that in many of the things I have done in my personal life, I’m wondering if this is also possible for you cravings on food though – any thoughts or advise from your own experience?

    1. Hmm I haven’t really heard about the 21 days thingy myself Bryan, but it sounds like it has some sort of basis behind it. Personally – I think all my habits developed a lot sooner than 21 days (maybe a week in most cases!!!!). 

  12. I do a lot of portion control. One strategy I use for snacking is I commit to a certain, “reasonable” amount. I place that in a bowl or on a plate, close up the package, put it away (ideally on a high shelf), and go walk to another room to eat. Basically, I try to make it as inconvenient as possible to go back for more!  It usually works.  Usually!

    Great tips, every bit helps. I don’t think there’s any magic bullet, and no one thing that will work for everyone, so articles like these can be very helpful, thanks.

  13. Thank you for sharing this great information.

    You have shared here good tips after I read your article I noticed that been doing couple of this tips like to brushing  my teeth, drinking water and especially with number two by keeping my surroundings well controlled by not having sweets on my cabinets. One thing that I been doing and seems to work very good for me is to prepare a green tea and I mixed it with 8oz of water, this keeps me not craving any late food or snacks.

    1. Well thanks for the tip there mate, although I should point out to my readers, that green tea does contain amounts of caffeine. This means drinking it late at night may well effect your sleeping pattern! 

  14. Great post and good info. 

    I really think these tips will help people who are struggling with it, staying awake late, getting hungry, and of course, eat snacks, like chips and more bad stuff. And then they get fat and have problems with cholesterol and so much more, I see it every day in the gym. There are alternatives to that, special non calorie rich snacks, but the tips you give, can also help people. 

    Did you had that problem as well, you are watching a movie, it is night and you want a snack? What do you do then? 

    1. To be brutally honest with you Emmanuel – I don’t have that problem! 

      I do like snacks every now and again, but I run most mornings so I don’t really get that guilt factor happening (sorry!). 

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