5 Tips to Stop Night Time Snacking

5 Tips to Stop Night Time Snacking

Posted on: March 27, 2022

When clients first come to see me, many seek ideas to stop night time snacking.
We should eat when we are genuinely hungry. Period. But are you snacking at night because you are genuinely hungry?
Sometimes it’s just a habit, sometimes it’s because you’re bored, sometimes it’s because the people with you are snacking. Whatever the reason, most clients tell me snacking at night doesn’t make them feel good, and they want help to change this habit.
Also, be honest here  –  are you snacking on carrot sticks at night? Most often the night time snacks we reach for are easy snack foods like chips, crackers, and cookies. The salt, sugar, or fats in these foods may not be the best thing to give our digestive system before we go to bed if we want a peaceful sleep.
Snacking at night doesn’t set us up for a good night’s sleep. It can make us feel queasy before bed, and may disrupt our sleep cycles. To help best prepare our bodies for sleep, snacking at night isn’t ideal.
If you find yourself always snacking or feeling hungry at night, these tips can help.

1. Make sure you’re eating enough throughout the day. If you’re truly hungry at night, then you’re not fuelling your body enough during the rest of the day. Underfeeding yourself can actually lead to more intense cravings! If you’re eating filling & satisfying meals during the day you are much less likely to snack at night.

Salmon salad
A satisfying dinner with healthy fats, veggies, and lean protein will keep us full enough that we lose the urge to snack after dinner.

2. Make sure your meals, especially your dinner, include foods that help keep you full – such as fibrelean protein and healthy fats. Great sources of fibre are veggies, legumes,  and whole grains. Sources of protein are poultry, eggs, plain Greek yogurt, lean pork, tofu, fish and seafood, legumes and beans, and plain kefir. Healthy fats include avocados, nut butters, nuts and seeds, oily fish, olive oil, goat cheese. These types of foods are satiating and keep you full so that you don’t feel the need to snack.

green beans with walnuts
Adding healthy fats such as walnuts to a side dish like green beans helps to make this dish more filling.

3. Prioritize sleep. Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Not getting enough sleep can cause our hunger hormones to get a little out of whack. Our sleep deprived body then thinks it needs energy, and the first thing it usually craves is sugar to fill that energy need quickly.

4. Avoid alcohol at night. I know, that is exactly when you want to drink alcohol, but hear me out. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and decision-making abilities, making snacks you’re not hungry for seem like an enticing option. Alcohol also disrupts your deep REM sleep, which then leaves you sleep-deprived, triggering those night-time cravings.

5. Brush your teeth! If you’re just snacking out of habit but are not hungry, brush your teeth. Floss! Use mouth wash. The whole 9. This will signal to your body that you’re finished eating for the day. Don’t underestimate the power of this simple habit! It’s not very enticing to snack after making your mouth fresh and squeaky clean.

If you try any of these tips, I’d love to hear how it went. Got other fitness and nutrition questions? Send them my way! I love to help you find ways to feel happy and healthy.