Ready to Stop the Late Night Snacking? Do These 5 Things.

You know that feeling when you get to the end of your day? You just got the kids to bed. You have your comfies on. You plop down on the couch with a cozy blanket to watch your show and think to yourself “man I could really use a little snack”. So you get up and grab one and before you know it, that small snack turns into several snacks like a bowl of cereal, some chips, a bowl of ice cream, and your kids bag of Easter candy. 

Then what happens next? You feel miserable and you’re mad at yourself for not having more self-control, right?! I see this happen often, honestly. Here’s why this may be happening to you:

You’re not eating enough during the day.

When you skip breakfast (or really any meal) you miss out on the opportunity to fuel up properly. By the time you get to the end of the day, your body really is hungry and craves the quickest source of energy which is typically carbohydrates. But not usually the best kinds of carbs. And while carbohydrates have a lot of value, you tend to crave the simple carbs (hello chips, ice cream, and cereal) that don’t do the greatest job of filling you up and keeping you full. 

You’re using food to treat your emotions and stress.

At the end of a really long, and maybe stressful day, you may be tempted to treat your stress and exhaustion with food. This isn’t really what food is made for, right? So why do we do it? You can actually get a bump in serotonin and dopamine (hormones that make you feel happier) when you eat certain foods. But this will only last momentarily and it’s important to understand that before you rip open that bag of cookies.

Late night eating isn’t ideal and here’s why:

The daytime is when you’re going to need the bulk of your nutrition because this is generally when your metabolic rate is higher. When you eat right before you go to bed, your body is heading into its lowest metabolic state and really doesn’t need as many calories as it does earlier in the day. 

Late night eating can also negatively impact sleep. Eating right before bed can make it more difficult to fall asleep and affect that quality of your sleep. When you eat right before bed, your body will continue working on digesting that food hours later. This can affect your sleep/wake cycle more than you realize.

I’d recommend stopping eating 2-3 hours before bed if possible. Of course there will be situations where you work late or get home late for some reason and need to eat late. But if you’re home at a reasonable hour, it’s best to eat a few hours before hopping in bed. 

What about if you’re truly hungry at night? There are foods that are more ideal to go to if you’re really hungry after dinner time. Foods that have protein and/or fiber are great options. 

Here are some ideas for late night snacks if you need one:

  1. Greek yogurt with berries
  2. Fruit and a chocolate square
  3. Apple slices with peanut butter
  4. Veggies with hummus.
  5. If you’re craving something sweet, grab a vanilla Greek yogurt and crumble up one oreo or cookie to add to it. This will satisfy that sweet tooth and give you some protein at the same time.
  6. Try to avoid sugar and fatty foods as much as possible too close to bed.

Ready to stop with the late night snacking? Do these 5 things. 

  1. Properly fuel throughout the day. Don’t skip meals. This will help you feel more full and satisfied throughout the evening. 
  2. Get a good source of protein and fiber with each meal. These nutrients are naturally more filling and take longer to digest which will help you feel more satisfied.
  3. Close the kitchen. Set a time for your kitchen to “close” to help you shut down the late night snacking.
  4. Break the old habits. If you’re used to snacking at night, swap it out with something else. Take a walk, read a book, grab a healthier snack option. 
  5. Drink more water. Did you know that you can confuse dehydration with hunger? That’s right. Sometimes you can feel hungry when your body wants water so make sure you’re drinking water throughout the evening.

Apply for my nutrition coaching!

If you’re done with the poor nutrition habits and you’re ready to feel great in your clothes and live your best life, apply for my coaching program HERE! I’ve helped thousands of women create healthy habits, drop the baby weight they’ve been holding onto for years, and stop the dieting cycle. I’d love to help you too!

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