10 WAYS TO FIGHT OFF NIGHTTIME SNACK ATTACKS

10 WAYS TO FIGHT OFF NIGHTTIME SNACK ATTACKS

Remember that old saying your parents used to say to you as a kid: “Nothing good happens after midnight”? They probably weren’t referring to the nighttime snack munchies, but in this case, that’s exactly what we’re referring to. 

We’ve all been there before; we’re sitting on the couch watching our favorite t.v. show after a long day of successfully keeping our willpower on high, and all the sudden we drop our guard and fall victim to the dreaded nighttime snack attack. Where one handful of those powdery cheesy puffs leads to another and before you know it, you’re reaching for the bottom of the bag. 

Ugh it’s the worst. That’s why we’re sharing these 10 tips that will help you fight off a nighttime snack attack the next time it strikes.

 

1. REMOVE TEMPTATION

Out of sight out of mind. Yes, we can always jump in the car to grab a milkshake, but we’re less likely to do that than dig into the tub of ice cream lurking in the freezer. If you have a healthy relationship with food, keeping a healthy distance from your pitfall snacks can beat the unhealthy nighttime munching.


2. CONTROL YOUR PORTIONS

No one ever said to stop snacking all together. So, if you’re going to snack, remember that moderation is key. Being mindful of how much you need to satisfy your craving is key to healthy eating. Instead of eating your snack out of the box or the bag, put it on a plate or in a bowl. Or, opt for a pre-portioned snack and notice your enjoyment as you’re eating instead of mindlessly munching until the box or bag is polished off.

 

3. HAVE WELL BALANCED MEALS

Eating well balanced meals with protein, fat, carbs and fiber (aka fruits and vegetables) throughout the day will help you ward off the nighttime munchies. If you’re cutting back on carbs or fat, you may notice you’re craving sweets (a substantial source of both). Well balance meals throughout the day will leave you more satisfied and less likely to be physically hungry and crave those nighttime snacks.


4. FIND A NEW EVENING HABIT OR ROUTINE

You probably don’t find yourself as tempted by the snack monster during the day because you’re busy, but when nighttime rolls around, it’s harder to resist the urge to munch because it’s a time to relax and be still. So, do something else instead of eating — read a book, plan your schedule for tomorrow, or have some “me time” by taking a hot bath or painting your nails. Or, call a friend or family member that you've been meaning to catch up with. And if none of those options sound appealing, try journaling - always a good way to clear your mind at the end of a long day.

 

5. CREATE SNACK ALTERNATIVES

This tip is VITAL. Nighttime munchies are real. And sometimes we just want the taste of something after dinner, but don’t be fooled. Decadent and unhealthy snacks are not what our body needs day in and day out. Create healthy snack alternatives that enhance your nutrition. If you’re craving sweets, try having a protein shake, or enjoy a bowl of Greek yogurt with fruit and mini chocolate chips, or some all-natural energy bites. If salty snacks are more your thing, try having eggs with a dash of Sriracha, or a cheese stick and beef jerky, steamed edamame with sea salt or air-popped popcorn.

 

6. INCLUDE SNACKS IN YOUR MEAL PLAN

If you’re following a meal plan or tracking your diet, and you know you usually crave sweet or salty something after dinner, build that snack into your meal plan to help you snack guilt-free.

 

7. HAVE DESSERT

Yep, you read that correctly. Have dessert (use portion control of course). Swearing off sweets or salty snacks all together will likely just make the cravings intensify. Fighting off the nighttime snack monster can become a difficult mental battle if you tell yourself you can’t have something, so go ahead and indulge, just not every night. It will likely only take a small portion to satisfy your craving.


8. HOT TEA IS YOUR BFF

A key part of successfully fighting off the nighttime snack attack, is to stay hydrated throughout the day. Sipping hot tea at night adds to daily hydration and that warm beverage promotes feelings of satisfaction. If you’re not into tea and want something other than water to drink, try unsweetened almond milk or calorie-free sparkling water.

 

9. POP IN A PIECE OF GUM

Minty fresh breath is a signal to the brain for many people that “the kitchen is closed.” Chewing gum or eating a breath mint, brushing teeth or even sipping peppermint tea is a tried and true tactic to stop eating and might help when dealing with after-dinner munchies.

 

10. GO TO SLEEP

Now we're not saying go to bed hungry — refer to tip number 2. But getting to bed at a reasonable hour can really help to kick a munchie habit. Getting to bed early also helps you crush your goals for the next day, so you can get up earlier to work out and have the mental (and hormonal) stamina to eat healthy and balanced throughout the day.




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