Tips to Avoid Late-Night Snacking

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Seriously delicious dinner last night! I may or may not have eaten it at 4:45 in the afternoon, but, hey, I was hungry. Mal was too, which is why dinner was finished cooking so early in the evening.

When I got home from my second NRT appointment (more on that later), I arrived home to the smell of freshly cooked homemade pizza, so I immediately knew it was time to eat.

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Pizza toppings included shredded cheese, sauce, chopped green bell pepper, onions, mushrooms, and turkey pepperoni. Mmm! Perfect! On the side: salad with truffle oil and balsamic vinegar.

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Since I ate dinner so early in the evening, I planned a snack for later on: Banana Soft Serve! The first of the year! I added two tablespoons of butterscotch chips to the mix. De-lish!

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Organize Your Dishwasher Cutlery

This is one of the best ”˜duh’ tips I’ve read it awhile, so I just had to share it with you guys. FYI: It’s from the April issue of Real Simple.

Instead of just throwing your dirty cutlery in your dishwasher basket, organize it by piece, so when it’s clean, you can just grab it and put it away. So simple, so smart!

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I’m not going to lie, I’m not sure who was more excited about this tip””Mal or me. I suggested organizing our cutlery like this from now on, and it made him so happy! Mal loved the idea! Haha! Oh, it’s the little things in life!

Feel Great Weight

I attribute my twenty-pound post-college weight gain to large portions, not enough exercise, and too many happy hours that involved way too many pints of beers and plates of nachos.

These were the main culprits that caused me to pack on the pounds, but my frequent evening cereal binges certainly didn’t help either. A few times a week, once I finished eating dinner, I’d find myself heading to the kitchen for a late night snack, especially if I was just lounging around the house watching TV.

I’d end up eating mindlessly and consume hundreds of extra calories even though I wasn’t really hungry. I knew I needed to get control of my nighttime snacking if I wanted to lose weight, so I started to implement some new eating habits””throughout the day””to help me rein in my snacking. Here’s what I did, and what can help you too.

Question of the Day

Do you ever struggle with late-night snacking? If so, how do you deal?

P.S. I’m hosting the greatest nut butter/spread giveaway on Trading Up Downtown this morning! I’m giving away a jar of my favorites: Teddie, Barney Butter, and Biscoff Spread!

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68 Comments

  1. Late night snacking is a tough one. What I have found works (for me) is a late-ish dinner, and an early bedtime. My husband and I are both early morning people (I run at 4:30 mostdays) so the early bedtime helps with snacking! But that is obviously not the answer for many!

      1. @Tina: I do the same thing! Knowing I have an easy dinner all planned out helps curb this for me, but it can still be a struggle sometimes. I feel like I always want something sweet right when I walk through the door from work.

        Getting in a good out right before dinner (with lots of water for hydration), and then having a balanced meal usually keeps me from snacking later in the evening. Weekends are harder than weeknights, though, for sure.

        1. @Kelli: FROZEN GRAPES! I almost always work on frozen grapes while preparing dinner (and before). Each & every one takes a long time to eat and each & every one is always delicious so I don’t snack on other, higher calorie stuff before dinner. It keeps my mouth and tummy happy and it’s just filling enough so I don’t go overboard on dinner either. I go purple, but I’m not a green lover at all. Any frozen fruit pretty much rules. Peaches and mangoes are my other go-tos. You can buy a bunch when they’re in season and amazing and enjoy them all year!

  2. The best thing that has worked for me is brushing AND flossing after I feel like I’ve eaten enough for the day. If I’m tempted to snack, I won’t do it because it’s such a pain to go throught that routine twice in a night! 😉 However, if I’m truly hungry, then I’ll go ahead and eat something. But it makes me stop and think if I’m truly hungry or just feeling snacky, and if that food is worth flossing again! 😛

  3. I love to have a bedtime snack and always incorporate it into my meal planning…i.e. I have a smaller dinner to make room for it, or I try to balance it out (i.e. a heavy-carb dinner = heavy-protein snack)! So long as I am conscious about and I make nutritionally sound choices, I am a-ok with my late-night snacking!

    1. I was thinking the same thing myself. That’s whey I never arrange them together, always apart if I can help it.

  4. As a recent college grad, I totally feel you on the late night snacking issue! I’m trying to keep it under control, but it’s a problem. Thanks for the tips! I’m sure they’ll help. 🙂

  5. I snack late into the night almost every night but its because I get hungry again and usually isn’t mindless. I have no problem eating right before bed actually. And seriously brilliant tip ahah! How have I never heard that one before.

  6. I absolutely struggle with late night snacking! To try to avoid it, I make sleepy time tea with some almond milk. It usually curbs my craving. If I’m really hungry though, I’ll let myself have something healthy like a piece of fruit or some Greek yogurt.

  7. I find it so hard not to eat everything in my kitchen after dinner. I usually allot myself one post-dinner snack and then water/tea after that. Also, I find going to bed earlier helps. I can’t eat if I’m sleeping!

  8. Great post! I have a major struggle with late-night snacking. Like almost every night… 🙂 I think the dental hygiene routine is a great deterrent; also, picking a time to stop eating is a good idea. I’ll have to try it!

  9. I am on Weight Watchers, so I tend to leave a few points for the end of the day if I want a snack. Also, most fruit is 0 points. If I am really hungry, I will grab a piece of fruit.

    I always organize my cutlery in the dishwasher. People look at me like I am crazy, but it really does save time.

  10. I don’t snack at night. I have been told I need to eat something small before bed to help with my weight loss, I am not eating enough, but I am just not hungry. I think we need to eat dinner earlier.

  11. This feels like a post Kath did a few months ago on not folding underwear and other things like that that no one sees, why waste the time? How the heck did I not think of putting all like cutlery in the same little compartment?! I hate emptying the dishwasher to begin with but the cutlery basket is the worst, this would make that part so much better!

  12. Ha ha! Someone else is part of the “Blue Hair Special Club!” I feel so funny eating around 5 pm on most nights but I’m hungry and that’s when the kids eat so why not?

    Thankfully, I’m not a late night snacker! Occassionally I’ll have air popped popcorn with a little butter and chili powder. Yum!

  13. I love delicious homemade pizza! Looks awesome!

    I don’t really snack at night unless I am hungry. If I choose to have a late meal, so be it, but snacking is not an issue. I’d say that if there is a ‘problem’ with snacking, it is stemming from not having enough calories during the day, not getting in enough protein, or it’s being done when not hungry (and thus there might be more underlying issues such as emotional eating going on).

  14. I usually have one snack around 8 while watching tv. I measure out 1 serving of whatever it is cereal, pretzels, popcorn, mm’s, put in a bowl and seal the bag/box. Our family room is above the garage, so you have to walk down the stairs back to the kitchen if you want more.

  15. I find I snack like its going out of style after I get home from work. Between 4-6 (and before my workout) I snack, then have a light dinner after my workout. But I usually only have healthy stuff stored- like rice cakes with jam or PB2, a small bowl of strawberries, or a small bowl of cottage cheese with a little granola on top.

  16. I definitely did a lot more late night snacking in college then I do now. But with commuting and working I feel as though I’m not even starting dinner until 7. So then by the time I’m done cleaning and preparing everything for the next day I’m just exhausted and go to bed. I don’t feel as though I have as much “lounging” time to just graze.

    Don’t know if this is really a tip but it’s certainly helped me cut back.

  17. yum that pizza looks great! i need to check out how to make that banana soft serve too… 🙂
    i used to be a really bad late night snacker too. now i focus on eating more calories toward the beginning of the day so i’m not craving food or feeling hungry later in the evening. i allow myself a small snack of something a little sweeter after dinner, and then the kitchen is closed for the night.

  18. That cutlery trick IS genius! I’ve been doing it for a while now and to prevent spoons and forks from “nesting” you just put half of them in upside down! You just have to learn to live with them being in two directions in the drawer which might be tough for some. As for late night snacking, nothing has worked for me yet but to save 200-300 calories for the snack so I can eat it and own it and not feel bad…

  19. My boyfriend thinks I’m crazy for organizing my silverware, but it really does save so much time when you empty the dishwasher. Time saving > Crazy!

    And yeah, I definitely have an issue with late night snacking, especially if I’m bored. Sometimes I’ll find myself eating just because I need something to do. Lately I’ve tried to be more conscious of it, and I’ve been focusing my attention on something other than the TV or computer; reading a book has been especially helpful (so has leaving the living room so I’m not staring into the kitchen!)

  20. I def. struggle with late night snacking! I am much more hungry at night then in the AM – some mornings I almost have to force breakfast down. My two weapons are drinking a giant glass of water (always calms my hunger) or brushing my teeth – once I brushed for the night it takes away my urge to go eat something!

  21. I just wrote a post about this, but since I have changed my eating habits to eating small snacks/meals every few hours, I have been late night snacking (which I never had before). I typically eat dinner anywhere from 7-830 and then around 1030ish (usually laying in bed) I am HUNGRY. not just craving something for a snack but my stomach is actually growling. I typically eat toast with nut butter or something along those lines. Last night I had half of an almond butter and jelly sandwich.

  22. I think that once you get into the habit of eating dessert – it’s a hard one to break. I never had the problem till I got married – my husband is a dessert person..so i started up too. Now, I try to have sugar free chocolate pudding or decaf green tea if I’m still needing something and its late – or maybe a small handful of dark chocolate chips and some walnuts. And others have mentioned but early teeth brushing is good too.

  23. your tweet this morning made me have barney butter for breakfast. It’s an addiction.

    also, late night snacking cures for me—always have pre-cut veggies on hand and LOTS of yogurt dips available.
    or just brush your teeth a lot.

  24. Late night snacking is so hard for me too! I really struggle and it seems like all my willpower is thrown out the window! I find it best if I allow myself a snack, but it needs to be replanned so I know its healthy and not mindless! I might try the brushing my teeth trick to see if that stops me too!

  25. I am definitely a late night snacker – it’s one of my major dietary downfalls – and I’m going to use several of the suggestions from your readers, especially going to bed earlier, to try to stop that. I’m also thinking about low/no calorie snacks I can have on hand for when the snacking monster attacks (preparation is half the battle).

  26. I have always struggled with late-night snacking. -_- To avoid it, I’ve learned to push dinner time back later leaving me less time to “feel hungry” before I go to bed. I’ve also found that drinking a hot beverage like tea or sugar-free cocoa instead of bowls of cereal really curbs my appetite.

  27. I battle with late night snacking every night!
    I am in college and I eat frequently throughout the day, but when I finally come home late at night, having to stay up cause of homework I will attack the kitchen lol

    Thanks for the advice! I’ll keep them in mind tonight 🙂

  28. Mmmm pizza! LOVE. Great idea adding butterscotch chips to the banana soft serve. I have been making an oatmeal raisin cookie smoothie lately when my sweet tooth hits. Same concept of bananas soft serve, but I have been adding almond milk, cinnamon, and BUTTERSCOTCH SCHNAPPS!! Holy moly so delicious! 🙂

  29. Gahhh! I figured out that tricks years ago and started doing it at home and my mother laughs at me whenever I’m home and do it for being too “neurotic.” ahaha, I’m glad I’m not along for thinking it’s awesome.

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