• Tips to Curb Late Night Snacking

    August 8, 2012

    Our little pug patient is feeling quite a bit better today. His eyes still look a little cloudy, but they’re not nearly as watery and booger-y as they were a few days ago. Murphy has a check-up with the vet tomorrow afternoon, so, hopefully, we’ll hear some good news then. At least he’s back to his normal weird pug self.



    I finally got burnt out on peanut butter and banana wraps, so I made my other go-to meal for breakfast this morning: My Favorite Breakfast Pancake. I added chia seeds to the batter and topped it with a scoop of almond butter.

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    And, as always, I drank a glass of iced coffee with coconut-almond milk.

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    After breakfast, I had some fun in the kitchen with protein powder. My Health post for next week is all about how to incorporate protein powder into your diet, so I attempted some new recipes today.

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    I bombed my first attempt at protein cookies, but my second effort turned out great. The recipe will be on Health’s News & Views one week from today!

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    I don’t know if it was the heat and humidity or taste-testing my protein cookies (ok, it was probably the cookies), but I wasn’t super hungry when lunchtime rolled around, so I kept lunch on the light side and whipped up a green smoothie.

    In the mix:

    • 1 frozen banana
    • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
    • 1/2 cup chopped frozen kale
    • 1 cup almond milk
    • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal 
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

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    So, this is kind of cool…

    The August issue of Fitness magazine arrived at my house today. Inside was an ad for the Fitness Blogger Tweet & Meet, which was held in New York City last April. I attended the event and spoke on a panel. I also participated in a Tabura pop-up workout, which, apparently, was caught on camera.


    Check me out doing crunches!

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    Neat, right? My friends Sarah, Julie, Cat, and Maria are also in the ad. Just wanted to share!

    Health News & Views

    Recently I’ve received lots of questions from readers who say they have trouble with after-dinner snacking—they aren’t alone! Many people, including myself from time-to-time, struggle with the battle of the late-night munchies. Sometimes, once I finish dinner, I find myself poking around the kitchen for something to eat. Most of the time I know it’s just mindless munching, so I rein in my snacking with a number of healthy eating strategies. These things work for me, so hopefully they’ll work for you too! 7 Tips to Curb Late Night Snacking

    I just realized I wrote about this same topic a few months ago, so here are even more tips to help you curb late-night snacking.

    Question of the Day

    Do you struggle with late-night snacking? If so, what do you find to be the main cause? How do you deal?

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    { 59 comments… read them below or add one }

    Mindy August 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Love the picture!


    Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats August 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Can’t wait for the cookie recipe! Also, I’ve found that snacking when I’m not hungry (i.e. after dinner) is mostly because I’m bored and thinking about food. I find that reading a good book is helpful because I get lost in the story and don’t find my brain wandering during commercials like it does if I’m just watching TV


    Kristen @ notsodomesticated August 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    My #1 tip is to brush my teeth after I think I’ve had enough to eat for the day. And sometimes I floss right away, too. Then, if I’m REALLY and truly hungry, I will think it’s worth it to eat and then have to go through the process again. But if it’s just mindless snacking, I usually won’t do it, because it’s such a pain to do everything again!


    Alex @ Brain, Body, Because August 8, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    This is such a great tip! Love it.


    Melissa August 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    @Kristen @ notsodomesticated:
    I do the same thing. To this day I wear my retainers to bed, and if I’ve gone to the trouble to brush, floss, and put retainers in, it’s definitely too much trouble to go through the process again just for a couple bites of chocolate. Sometimes being lazy pays off!


    Tina August 8, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Agreed! 🙂


    Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries August 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I used to be a huge late night snacker. I realized that after I increased my calories throughout the day and incorporated in more healthy fats that I was more content come the end of the day.


    Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio August 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    That’s really cool Tina! Fun to see you in print.


    Anne August 8, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    What helps me is knowing my triggers for me it’s sweet OR salty, so if I snack on popcorn and feel triggered, I’ll grab one of my fav savory munchies like a carrot or pickle. That way I still can indulge in my preferred snack but I can cut the craving with a second low cal savory one!


    Sana August 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Nice pic 🙂 Do you like your pancakes on the burnt side? I loveeeee fluffy and soft pancakes!


    Tina August 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Not really, I just wasn’t paying attention this morning! 🙂


    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats August 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I’m REALLY struggling with late night snacking! it’s become a real habit for me and I need to break it!


    AnneW August 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Tina! How do you feel about artificial ingredients in protein powders? Are there certain things you try to avoid, or do you just check out nutrition stats and roll with it?


    Tina August 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I’d prefer them not to have artificial ingredients, but consuming protein powder is an easy and effective way to get protein to my muscles after a workout. I guess I just roll with it. I mean, I eat things like Birthday Cake Oreos as well, so it’s not a huge deal to me.


    Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness August 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Those protein cookies look so great! So happy Murphy is feeling better!


    Corrie Anne August 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    ohhh late night snacking… lol. my favorite time to eat, but sadly not the best for you!! hope murph is on the mend!!!!!


    CampingGirl August 8, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I’ve been following Bob Harper’s Skinny Rules and one of the rules suggests not eating after dinner. It was really, really hard to do at the beginning but now that I am tracking my calories I find that if I eat enough during the day I’m not hungry for the late night snack. Plus I keep nothing “snacky” in the house to tempt me.


    Annette@FitnessPerks August 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    YAY! Very cool that you’re in the magazine! Wahaoo!

    I want to attempt to make protein cookies too–good idea 🙂 Oh, and yes, I do eat a snack at night, but it’s always very mindful–and because I need it (training for a Half IM and teaching)


    Michelle (Peachy Palate) August 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I always have a night time snack; having something before bed is part of my daily eats. I think once you plan to have a snack at night and ensure you have some healthy options on hand it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I don’t believe that eating after a certain time will have a negative affect on your weight, it’s eating the wrong foods and over indulging that causes problems for people which I think, having suffered from bulimia and binge eating disorder, that it stems from not eating enough during the day, omitting foods and not allowing yourself to enjoy the foods you love on occasion – everything in moderation!


    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance August 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I can get snacky later in the evening, but I just try and make healthy choices instead of denying myself from eating at all. I’ll grab some carrots, an orange or make popcorn.


    Beth @ Running with the Sunrise August 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Your breakfast pancake looks awesome–I’m definitely going to have to try that recipe! And thanks for the tips about late night snacking! I find my big problem is eating unhealthy food late at night, so I will definitely be trying out some of your suggestions.


    Kelly August 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I brush my teeth. I know that sounds ridiculously easy but it REALLY does help! And after I brush my teeth once I am a lot less likely to eat and brush again. Works like a charm!


    Sarah August 8, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    What helps me is to have a plan for after dinner. I’m super ‘type A’ so if I have a planned snack/dessert, I know I have something to look forward to and won’t ‘mindlessly’ snack after dinner. I think I have been like this my entire life haha I used to actually plan out meals and snacks in middle school! I just love plans and having things to look forward too! In college, after dinner, almost always I would have a small bowl of old fashioned oats with butter and sugar because my grandmother always did that. If it wasn’t oatmeal, i would have a few squares of a king sized Hershey’s bar i kept near my computer while I was studying… Just like two or three and kept it at that. For some reason Hershey’s chocolate has such a distinctive taste that I used to (and still do!) crave. My grandmother used to always tells me, if you’re you want to eat after dinner just because you want to eat but aren’t necessarily hungry, have a spoonful of peanut butter and that always seems to do the trick!


    Molly @ RDexposed August 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Did you mean to count avocado as a protein in the article?


    Tina August 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Where does it say that?


    Molly August 9, 2012 at 11:16 am

    @Tina: Under the protein powder section.


    Lydia @HappyHealthyConfident August 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Congrats on being in Fitness Magazine! So cool!


    Erinn August 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I always have issues with eating late. I think it’s partly boredom and eating my feelings on bad days.
    Tina, Do you buy your kale pre-frozen or do you freeze it yourself?


    Tina August 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Pre-frozen, chopped and bagged! 🙂


    Avery @ Texas Teen Keeps Lean August 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    So excited for the cookie recipe! I’m currently doing outdoor, INTENSE cheer practices, so I need all the protein I can get!


    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama August 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    For late night snacking I make a point to clean up the kitchen after eating dinner and kind of make it look like the kitchen is closed for the evening.


    Jenica August 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I just accept that late night snacking is a part of my life and I keep washed, cut up fruits and vegetables in the front of the fridge. That way I see them first and I don’t need to think about making a healthy choice, I just do!


    Pam August 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm
    Tina August 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you!! 🙂


    Rachel August 8, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I usually have tea when I’m craving something after dinner lol I have this mint chocolate tea that does the trick 😉


    Teresa @ fitnwoodbine.blogspot.com August 8, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I wanted to eat last night and it was so late that I just went to bed!! Just seems easier that way!!


    Carol@CME program August 9, 2012 at 1:12 am

    @Teresa @ fitnwoodbine.blogspot.com:
    Well, this might work to think that it is late, if you really want to eat, you will eat, but be sure not to sleep immediately after eating. I think it is okay to eat a little after dinner.


    Cat @ Breakfast to Bed August 8, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    That ad is hilars. Also? I’ve taken to eating an ENTIRE cucumber at night. every night. to curb my habit.


    Kristy August 8, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Murphy always puts a smile on my face. Thank you for the tips. I will try brushing my teeth earlier to see if that helps with my late night snacking habit. Some evenings I’m fine with just eating dinner. I may grab a scoop of nut butter and some carob chips if I crave something sweet. I seem to enjoy snacking while on my computer or when I’m watching Netflix. It’s become a habit. I usually keep some great herbal tea on hand as well as cute tea cups/mugs so this can substitute as my snack.


    Meghan August 8, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Cottage cheese in a smoothie – intriguing. Makes me wonder if ricotta would work well…


    michelle kim August 8, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    OMG, how exciting to be in a magazine! You look great! I’m going to have to go check out that issue, for sure!


    Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate August 9, 2012 at 1:09 am

    The cookies look great, can’t wait for the recipe!


    Sophie August 9, 2012 at 2:51 am

    Cool advice on breaking the late night snacking cycle. I used to be so bad for this, well I kind of still am at times, but I’m getting there and winning the battle….most of the time 🙂


    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 9, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I always like to eat something after dinner but to make sure I don’t mindlessly snack, I portion in out into a bowl. That always keeps me in check!


    Audrey Ellen August 9, 2012 at 7:55 am

    At night, it can help me to have what I am craving in a reasonable portion. Then I am not depriving myself and thinking about it all night and eating lots of other snacks instead. For example, when I’m craving ice cream, I’ll have a small cup, then I won’t be tempted to fill the void with tons of other stuff. Or I’ll settle into the couch with one really good beer that I can savor for a while and feel full.


    Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut August 9, 2012 at 8:00 am

    3-ingredient pancakes? Love it! I’m definitely making one of these tomorrow. I used to have a really hard time with snacking after dinner, which usually was something sweet. (Weight Watchers bar, bites of Ben & Jerry’s straight from the pint…) But I finally learned how to be a more mindful eater, and now when I have the impulsive to have an evening snack, I ask myself how much I realllly want it. The answer is usually–not much! My boyfriend is British and he loooves his tea, so now I usually just make a cup for myself too and call it a night!


    Katherine @ The Fit Lady Sings August 9, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Late night snacking is my downfall! It’s usually something light, like a small bowl of cereal or some popcorn, but I sometimes go overboard! Can’t wait to read your tips.


    jen August 9, 2012 at 9:10 am

    great picture!! i’ve gotten a lot better with late night snacking over the years. i used to reach for all the wrong stuff – cereal out of the box, crackers, cookies. all the sugary, carby stuff… now, i try to eat a good dinner with a lot of protein. that really helps! but if i still get hungry later, i reach for something i know will fill me. my favorites are: a banana, peanut butter, a small handful of pistachios, or a dozen peanut butter chips.


    Barbara August 9, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Late night snacking is my enemy. I find very often that I am just tired and confuse that with being hungry/snacky. It’s one of those mind things!

    Glad Murphy is on the mend.

    Looking forward to the protein cookie recipe – they look yum!


    Danica August 9, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I’m excited to see the protein cookie recipe!
    I always struggle with late-night snacking, or more like after-dinner-dessert cravings. It’s a bad habit that I’m working hard to break! Eating dinner just a little later (with a focus on protein) is helping a lot.


    Natalie @ FreshLifeFindings August 9, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Those cookies look great, can’t wait for the recipe! Also how is that to find a picture of you in Fitness!? Brushing my teeth and drinking water always helps curb the late night snacking. Sometimes making hot tea makes me feel like I’m getting something 🙂


    Cait's Plate August 9, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Excited for the cookie recipe! I was going to do a cookie recipe for my News & Views post too but good to know you are cause now I might change it up!


    Zoe at A Single Magic August 9, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I’ve started breaking up my dinner meals into two mini meals. The first one will typically include veggies, protein and whole grains. I try to wait at least an hour and if I’m still hungry I go for something else. Last night it was banana soft serve with some chocolate sauce, and tonight it might be cottage cheese with frozen blueberries! Like you I seem to always want something sweet after dinner. I tried to completely skip that part of the meal but that really backfired and I would go nuts with sweets over the weekend or on a night out. But as far as other snacking goes, I try to avoid anything else after a pm workout aside from quick protein for muscle fuel, healthy dinner 1 and sweet snack 2. I am definitely a fan of the teeth-brushing and getting to bed early habit!


    Alyssa August 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    So glad Murphy is feeling better! Poor little guy.

    I definitely have a hard time with late night snacking because I don’t get home from work till around 10pm. It’s especially bad if I don’t eat dinner at work, which is pretty often =/ But I try to eat something small like fruit or cereal, then I brush my teeth right away & get right into bed. This helps a lot to prevent me from continuing to snack.


    Jolynn August 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Fun!! Can’t wait to see your protein cookie recipe! I love experimenting with protein powder.


    Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn August 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Can we talk about how the coconut-almond blend is a THOUSAND times better than regs? I’m actually obsessed. I put it in everything.

    Look at you go, girl! Magazine ads! Love it.


    Living, Learning, Eating August 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    There’s a lot of research that eating at night isn’t inherently bad, that it’s just the choices we tend to make at night (and the portions) that can be not-so-great. I find that happens to me and my late night snacking is bad if I haven’t eaten enough, or not enough fat or protein or complex carbs, during the day. Or if I haven’t had a treat – my body wants that chocolate bar and if it doesn’t get any it early on, it asks for it later!


    Ava August 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I am a night owl and very often have late night cravings. Usually I’ll make a parfait so I feel like I am having a late night dessert! Non-fat Greek yogurt, honey, and some berries!


    Ava @ The Fit Girls Dish August 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I am a night owl and very often have late night cravings. Usually I’ll make a parfait so I feel like I am having a late night dessert! Non-fat Greek yogurt, honey, and some berries!


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