Preventing Late Night Snacking

Hallelujah for healthy food!

At Long Last: A Healthy Lunch

Though I thoroughly enjoyed more than one ten yummy indulgences this past weekend, my  body is happy to be back to being fueled by nutritious food rather than the inordinate amounts of cheese  found on a slice of deep dish pizza.(Seriously, how good is deep dish pizza? Love that stuff.)

Today’s lunch included a mixed veggie salad comprised of:

Colorful + Nutritious

"Hummus, Hummus, I Got the Hummus!" -Phoebe Buffay

On the side I enjoyed a large plum and a stick of Sargento Colby-Jack cheese.

Plumtastic!

Oh vitamins and healthy food, how I’ve missed you! :D

Now on to some not-so-healthy food discussion…

Preventing the Late Night Snack Attack

We’ve all done it. We’ve all felt sleepy and knew it was time for bed, but instead meandered into the kitchen only to indulge in a late night snack attack.

My late night snacking was at an all-time high this past weekend. When we arrived home after a night of partying it up bachelorette party-style, my friends and I all found ourselves knee-deep in tortilla chips, salsa, Baked Lays and French onion dip.

Before the Attack of the Tortilla Chips

The next morning, we all asked ourselves the same question: Why?

Why did we feel the need to gorge on copious amounts of chips and dip like we’d never get a chance to eat them again?

I’m going to go ahead and chalk the chips and dip feast from this weekend up to the post-drinking munchies that many of us remember from college (Hello, Taco Bell at 2 a.m.!), but in our day-to-day lives, many of us still struggle with late night snacking.

I used to be a huge late-night snacker. I would almost always eat a pretty hefty snack before bed. Eventually I realized I was doing this out of boredom and habit, not out of hunger.

I began to implement several different tactics to help combat my evening snack attacks which really helped me steer clear of the kitchen right before bed:

  • Drink a Hot Beverage: This one really helped me a lot! I often wanted to eat something while watching TV or hanging out with Ryan after dinner and found that sipping a cup of light hot chocolate or hot tea really helped keep my hands busy and took a while to consume, allowing for my snacky feelings to subside.
  • Plan to Snack: When I realized a lot of my late-night snacks were sweet, I began to plan to consume a sweet healthy late-night snack, like a cup of honey Greek yogurt, low-fat pudding, a square of dark chocolate, or a Dove Ice Cream Miniature to satisfy my sweet tooth in a less-indulgent way.
  • Evaluate Your Hunger: Have healthy snacks on hand just in case you are actually hungry before bed. Here are some ideas for healthy bed-time snacks:
  1. Apple with peanut butter
  2. Whole wheat crackers with cheese
  3. Cup of chocolate milk
  4. Greek yogurt with a sprinkling of nuts
  5. Small bowl of oatmeal
  6. Handful of healthy trail mix (peanuts, chocolate chips, raisins, whole grain cereal)
  • Entertain Yourself: Once I realized that I wasn’t actually hungry 95 percent of the time I was reaching for a late-night snack, I came up with a game plan to keep myself entertained and out of the kitchen. I created a list of activities that I literally posted on my fridge of things to do when I wanted to snack, but wasn’t really hungry:
  1. Read a book or magazine
  2. Paint my nails
  3. Play with or pet my dog
  4. Cuddle up with Ryan
  5. Go for a walk with Ryan and Sadie
  6. Do a 10-minute “quick clean” of the apartment
  7. Update my iPod

Question of the Afternoon

  • Do you snack late at night?
  • What are your tricks for staying out of the kitchen after dinner?
  • What are your favorite healthy late night snacks?

Comments

  1. Suzanne says

    Hi Julie,

    I stumbled upon your blog from a fellow blogger’s site. Great blog and posts! I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read so far, as I’ve found that your posts about healthy living and eating are really interesting for those of us trying to do the same… but also realistic! It is so important to treat ourselves to those indulgences every now and then… I am still a big fan of choco cake and fro yo despite all the veggies and fruits I prep during the week.

    Great post on late night snacking – great ideas for my greatest weakness!

    Cheers!
    Suzanne

      (Quote)

  2. Elizabeth says

    Julie, just wanted to say how very much I love your blog. As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder in the past it’s nice to focus on such a healthy approach to diet and exercise.

    I’ve had a terrible habit recently of visiting sites that focus on celebrity weight fluctuations (which only leads to tearing others down and criticizing myself more). I decided to seek out a blog related to healthy lifestyle choices instead and I found yours….thanks so much for the daily blogs :) It has helped more than you know!

      (Quote)

    • peanutbutterfingers says

      thank you so much for your kind comment, elizabeth. i’m so happy to hear that you’re really interested in living a healthy life and i’m so glad to hear you find my blog helpful. :) <3

        (Quote)

  3. says

    If I get hungry after dinner, I decide on the following choices:
    -Popcorn
    -Big salad
    -Fruit with Yogurt
    -Protein bar
    -Veggies and dip
    -PB&J

    It all depends upon my mood! I only snack at night if I feel hungry =)

      (Quote)

  4. Alison says

    Hey Julie!-
    I have been struggling like CRAZY lately with late night eating and reread this post from last year. I was wondering if you could write a more detailed post this year addressing late night eating, your current habits, and how to break the cycle. I ALWAYS have a snack before bed, but lately, one snack turns into about 4! Although I always choose healthy options (i.e., Greek yogurt with healthy cereal and almonds, oatmeal with whey protein powder, etc.), nothing seems to fill me up (or at least I think I’m not full). Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

      (Quote)

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