Night time cravings

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to avoid nighttime cravings? I can eat well all day but come night time my sweet tooth goes into overdrive. I'm not looking for food options, if I cave to that sweet tooth it just leads to a binge. I'm interested in other things to do that may distract me from the kitchen.


  • NicbPNW
    NicbPNW Posts: 47 Member
    Hot tea? Drink a huge glass of water or start doing something to take your mind off eating?
  • privy95
    privy95 Posts: 81 Member
    Are you eating enough calories? Sometimes cravings are just because we are trying to white knuckle too low calories. Do you plan things you love into your diet? Have you tried pre-measuring a small dessert and giving yourself permission to eat it so that you can make your diet more sustainable? Have you tried saving calories for Greek yogurt and fruit? Maybe sugar free jello with a squirt of fat free cool whip? I find 5 squares of Lily’s stevia sweetened chocolate (57 calories) satisfies my craving, and if I plan it every single day and give my self permission to savor my small treat, I can better give up the continual desire for sweets. Finally, some of it is just deciding I’m not going to over indulge and then setting up the boundaries that help me to succeed. Make it as easy as possible to make good choices!

    Finally, if you want to avoid the food all together, turn the light off, leave the kitchen, and just don’t go back. Plan light exercise (maybe not too close to bed), read inspirational stories of people who succeed (not at just dieting), do crosswords, spend time communicating with family or friends. Do something you love so you can focus on it rather than food.

    Best of luck in finding what works for you!
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,198 Member
    edited January 2020
    What does your eating look like through the day? Are you keeping calories so low during the day that by evening you're starving?

    What calorie target are you shooting for?

    Do you eat breakfast or skip breakfast? Are you hungry when you eat breakfast, if you do?

    If you're willing to share your age, weight, height, and goal weight, those facts would be helpful.
  • jocan11112017
    jocan11112017 Posts: 21 Member
    I struggle with this too at 10 pm after my kids are in bed. For me it’s part psychological because I finally have some down time it seems like a nice treat; other times I am just tired and should just go to bed. But what I’ve found overall is if I get good protein intake during the day the cravings don’t seem to happen at night. If they do or if I’m hungry, I have half a protein shake. Hopefully you find something that works for you!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,252 Member
    How is your sleep, and how is your stress level?

    Our bodies can respond to fatigue with a sensed need for energy, and food is energy. So, fatigue can mean cravings.

    Late in the day, we normally are more fatigued. If sleep quality is poor, or quantity is inadequate, that effect - the fatigue/cravings effect - can become larger.

    If you're in a calorie deficit, that's a physical stress. If you're in a big calorie deficit, or you've been in a deficit pretty steadily for a long time, the cumulative stress can increase. Add some life stress, and the stress itself can reach a breaking point, and either on its own or via stress-induced fatigue, lead to cravings.

    If you've been at the weight loss process for a while, another possibility is that your weight loss rate has become too aggressive for your now smaller body size, i.e., you're trying to lose too fast, so eating too little, and your body is rebelling.

    Is there any chance that habit or boredom are an element, for you? If so, then it's usually easier to replace an old and undesired habit with a new and desired one, vs. "just try to stop". For example, if someone has a habit of snacking while watching TV in the evening, they might try something like needlework to keep their hands busy, or stretching during the show. If the issues is potentially boredom, then starting a new, distracting hobby, or resuming an old one, can be a useful thing. (Especially good are things that require clean hands, like needlework, sketching, or playing a musical instrument; or things that create dirty hands, like painting, gardening, or carpentry.)

    It's certainly true for me that experimenting with my eating timing and composition was helpful in reducing evening cravings, as others have suggested. For me, perversely enough, getting a solid breakfast with plenty of protein was a key factor in reducing evening cravings, and it helped a bit to spread more protein through the day, too.

    Best wishes!
  • teresadannar
    teresadannar Posts: 199 Member
    I am a bedtime snack eater and at first I switched to the fruit in season, last summer it was sweet cherries, cantelope, etc. I gave that up this winter and now drink Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Vanilla Tea before turning out the light.
  • erizo19
    erizo19 Posts: 7 Member
    I have the same night time craving for sweets. I dont keep sweets in the house, since I know I’ll give in, but I do let myself have a night time snack - usually I go with cocoa or a banana with PB. I pre-log this and wait until I’m no longer full from dinner (usually 9pm or so) before I eat it. Some nights I don’t crave it, so I’ll skip it and take it off my diary the next day. But leaving the door open for a little something makes it easier for me not to go overboard.

    I also find that keeping my total sugar consumption as low as possible, and even avoiding artificial sweeteners, reduces my sugar cravings.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,699 Member
    If your weekly weight loss goal is already appropriate and so you are getting enough calories during the day:


    then try yoga.
  • cheryldumais
    cheryldumais Posts: 1,931 Member
    I was really struggling with this recently and realized that part of the problem was with my dinner. I was eating too many potatoes (or rice etc.) and not enough protein and veggie. I reduced the starch and increased both lean protein and higher fiber vegetables and found some improvement. I also have started using sugar free lower fat yogurt for a snack after dinner which seems to help as well. Good luck.
  • EmergencyGraphics
    EmergencyGraphics Posts: 132 Member
    Thanks for all the great ideas. Reading through all the suggestions, I'm realizing its a boredom thing. I'm not hungry, I'm bored. My schedule has recently changed, I normally work 2 or 3 jobs but right now I'm only working one so I'm home earlier at night. Last night my volleyball group started playing again and I had no problems. So I need to find some new hobbies.
  • fdlewenstein
    fdlewenstein Posts: 231 Member
    Thanks for all the great ideas. Reading through all the suggestions, I'm realizing its a boredom thing. I'm not hungry, I'm bored. My schedule has recently changed, I normally work 2 or 3 jobs but right now I'm only working one so I'm home earlier at night. Last night my volleyball group started playing again and I had no problems. So I need to find some new hobbies.

    Sometimes it is really difficult to determine whether it is true hunger, boredom, or habit. You have overcome huge barrier in determining that it is boredom. I was going to suggest getting up and finding something to do before giving in to cravings. That's what I usually try...drink water, have a cup of tea, or find something semi-active to do. Seems like you are on the correct mindset to overcome your night time cravings!
  • littlegreenparrot1
    littlegreenparrot1 Posts: 625 Member
    I find knitting helps, I'm useless at it and so entirely focused on trying to do it there is no room for anything else!

    It's also easier if I have a bit of a plan for the evening, a swim, a drama I want to watch, a load of laundry to iron whatever, boredom is the enemy.