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Nighttime Snacking Struggles

nutrition tips Mar 18, 2018

Are you a big evening snacker?  Nighttime snacking is a common struggle for many reasons.  Emotions and habits play a big role.  It’s the end of the day, the kids are in bed, and you finally have time to relax. So you may grab a bag of chips or chocolate if you’re into the sweets and turn on the TV to unwind.  You’ve been focused all day, but now all you want to do is “check out” with a bag of chips in your lap!

It can be a real struggle to curb those cravings and habits, but it is possible. Keep your evenings interesting and find other ways to wind down. Find what works best for you and do them consistently to form new healthy, evening habits. Below are a some things to do instead of snacking.

1. Water.
Pour yourself a big glass of water. Make it fun and infuse your water with cucumber and mint or any fruit you have on hand.

2. Make a cup of tea.  
When water doesn’t do the trick, try a warm glass of caffeine-free tea. My late-night favorite is chamomile tea, because chamomile is said to promote relaxation and sleep.  Find your favorite by trying different caffeine-free teas, which will also keep it fun and interesting.

3. Remove yourself.  
Physically change rooms (aka get out of the kitchen).  Go for a walk or just step outside and breathe in some fresh air. Enjoy the calmness of the evening.

4. Distraction.  
Physically remove yourself from the kitchen. Take your mind off of what’s in the pantry by calling or texting a friend. Pray or practice meditation.

5. Exercise.
Sometimes a little movement will help take away the urge to eat.  Go for a short walk outside.  Do some simple stretches or a few sit ups. It doesn’t have to be a full fledge sweat session.

6. Relax.  
Take a warm bath or a long shower.  Start a new book.  Go to bed early. (Easier said than done, I know, but I put it on this list because even I myself need to do a better job at this at night).

7. Be productive.  
Get a head start on tomorrow by planning your morning for the next day.  Organize your calendar.  Fold some laundry. Empty the dishwasher. 

8. Create Signals.
Personally, this is one of my favorites.  Come up with signals to tell yourself that you’re done eating for the day.  Brush your teeth.  After dinner immediately put up the leftovers, turn off the lights, and say “kitchen’s closed.”  Now, after dinner my kids will even say “kitchen’s closed.”  It’s a family habit. ;)

Note:  If you are truly hungry… EAT!  Don’t binge, but have a healthy snack such as a healthy fat bomb, some veggies, pistachios, or something leftover from dinner. Then call it a night.  

Set yourself up for success by making sure your dinner is satiating to last you till breakfast with a healthy dose of satisfying fats and by removing tempting foods from your pantry!  

You got this!

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