Nighttime Snacking

May 09, 2023

Many people struggle with snacking at night, which can lead to weight gain, acid reflux and disrupted sleep. Before having that midnight snack, try to address the following.

  • Meal timing. Are you eating dinner? Are you eating too early? Does your dinner contain protein to help keep you full? If your family eats dinner at 5 PM, and you go to bed at midnight, you may get hungry before bed. It may be helpful to eat dinner slightly later if you find that you are hungry often in the evenings.

  • Physical vs. emotional hunger. Are you physically hungry? It is likely that you are craving a snack at night due to emotions such as stress, sadness, or boredom. Evaluate your feelings and try journaling or talking to a friend/family member if you are feeling unsure.

  • Family influence. Is someone in your family eating at night? When you see others enjoying a snack, like popcorn during a movie, they may influence you to have a snack as well. Speak to your family members about this temptation if it is happening frequently.

  • Routine. Is nighttime snacking a part of your routine? Many people find that relaxing on the couch after dinner and watching TV is a major trigger to snack. You may find it helpful to start a new evening routine (exercising, reading, playing board games, working on a home improvement project). If you find new activities that keep your mind and hands busy, you may stop craving your typical evening snack.

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