Nighttime munchies

Hi everyone, after a day at work and a good healthy evening meal, I get an overwhelming urge to eat carbs and sometimes my diet control for that day goes down the crapper. Any suggestions I on how I can overcome this


  • Dellagirl5316
    Dellagirl5316 Posts: 24 Member
    Save yourself some calories for a snack before bed and just indulge a little with something small and sweet and still stay in calorie goal
  • Sammi_x_
    Sammi_x_ Posts: 52 Member
    Me and my husband have started just having a bowl of cereal before bed! It is enough for us :)
  • knotmel
    knotmel Posts: 80 Member
    I think the way to tackle this probably depends on what is driving it. I’ve handled it different ways depending on what was going on in my life. Here’s how I’ve approached this at different times and under different circumstances. Hopefully this gives you some ideas:
    1. When my kiddo was younger, I felt like I needed a treat at the end of the day when he finally went to sleep, so I saved calories for a snack—this was 100% stress/emotional eating, but I didn’t have the creativity to come up with a better solution for this need. Since the emotional eating was predictable, I could just make sure my calorie budget included a few cookies each night by pre-logging them. Eventually, things got easier, and I didn’t feel the “need” for this any more.
    2. Sometimes, I end up trying to lose too fast, which makes my body very hungry at the end of the day (go figure), and I can fix it by decreasing my overall deficit (increasing my calorie allowance).
    3. When I was eating at night just out of habit, I changed my evening habits—I had gotten used to sitting to watch TV and snacking in the evening, so I changed to going for a walk or yoga to break the habit (or sometimes TV in bed, because I do NOT want crumbs in bed, bed is upstairs and kitchen is downstairs (and I’m lazy), and once I’m tucked in, I don’t like moving (lazy again)).
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,741 Member
    In addition to good advice above, consider whether fatigue is part of the trigger. Fatigue leads the body toward energy-seeking, food is energy . . . cue the appetite.

    Since many snacky things are higher in sugars or refined carbohydrates, those may particularly appeal because of the quick energy availability.

    So, if your sleep quality or quantity could be improved, maybe work on that. If your job/life are high stress, consider non-food stress management techniques, because stress is fatiguing. If part of your new routine is high-intensity exercise, that may also be a trigger; maybe back off to a more moderate duration/intensity/frequency and go for more of a slow build for fitness.

    Food or nutrient timing may also have an effect, but those effects can be very individualized. Experiment.

    For example, I discovered that if I got a solid breakfast with plenty of protein, then more protein through the day, plus some high-volume food (like big veggie portions) at some point (usually dinner), I had much less difficulty with evening cravings. For sweets cravings specifically, it helped me to make sure I got multiple fruit servings daily.

    Your personal formula would be different, I'm just saying what I learned about myself as an illustrative example.

    As you log your food over time, notice days you feel more or less crave-y, and try to figure out what made the difference. Or, try a different routine for a few days, see if it makes things easier. You can figure out your personal best patterns.

    Best wishes!

  • candylilacs
    candylilacs Posts: 614 Member
    I have night-time craving for stuff that's bad for me. Why don't you have a cup of sugar-free cocoa? (Why not real cocoa and sweeten it with stevia or monkfruit?) It's anywhere 10-50 calories and you be enjoying a beverage that doesn't make you sugar-crash.

    If, like me, and wouldn't really enjoy cocoa, then you would take vanilla tea or blueberry (or whatever, before bed you would prefer caffeine-free) and you would fill 1/4 cup full-fat milk and sweeten. And savor it.

    It's a liquid and will help save your food cravings for another day.

  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,988 Member
    Are you hitting your protein and fiber goals? My default fiber goal is 21, but I've added 1/2 tablespoon of soaked chia seeds twice per day, and bumped up my berry consumption, and this helps me a lot. I'm averaging over 30 grams of fiber per day, and sometimes I'm well over that. Also, when I eat more fruit, I'm less interested in higher calorie snacky things. These tend to come with a lot of fat calories, as well.

    I also wanted to make sure your weekly weight loss goal is appropriate for the amount of weight you have to lose. Undereating can definitely lead to cravings. Often when posters mention the word "good," it turns out that they've actually had too aggressive a calorie deficit.

  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,018 Member
    edited June 2023
    Most peoples dinners are choc a bloc full of carbs that generate a pretty significant insulin spike simply because it's also generally the largest meal of the day which does put most people that are overweight into the negative territory for blood sugar balance and especially at the end of the day makes people quite hungry and they're looking for those sugary or salty treats, pretty typical outcome actually. Try reducing carbs adding a lot more veg and a bigger portion than normal of protein, that seems to work for many people by forgoing snacking altogether, or mostly. cheers.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,688 Member
    You might also try eating a piece of fruit as a night time snack. The calories aren't high and the fiber makes them filling, plus they satisfy the sweet tooth.
  • _John_
    _John_ Posts: 8,641 Member
    whole pound of raw strawberries, like 150-200 calories of steamed broccoli+cauliflower usually makes me hate the act of chewing and eating. That's how I get my body to STFU when I need to maintain a deficit.
  • onhaltn
    onhaltn Posts: 28 Member
    I had a terrible habit of late night eating. Yes, choosing a snack like an apple would work for a while, but eventually, if I stayed up, I’d get cravings and then eat more. My solution as of a few months ago has been to go to sleep earlier, and wake up earlier. Somehow, I still wind up eating dinner at about the same time, but I am going to sleep before I can get peckish or develop cravings. I wake early, and after coffee and the news, hit the gym, all before breakfast. Somehow this is working.
  • elisa123gal
    elisa123gal Posts: 4,306 Member
    My two cents. I wouldnt eat anything sweet or carby before bed.. if you goal is to control your appetite. Sugar and carbs spike blood sugar and you'll be in a vicious cycle of always craving more food.
    Eat some eggwhites or two to three ounces of chicken breast meat. Some kind of lean protein that will keep you saited and full for the night.. and it is low calorie.
  • ja20102004
    ja20102004 Posts: 349 Member
    Just eat something small. Maybe yogurt .