Late Night Snacking

Do you ever head straight for the fridge or pantry after a long night of studying or hanging out with friends? If you're like most people, you probably tend to grab the first thing you see, which isn't always the healthiest option! If late night eating is becoming a habit or a problem, try some of the following strategies to avoid or be better prepared for your next late night hunger attack.

Plan ahead

Planning ahead helps you think about what and where you're eating. By eating throughout your evening events, hopefully you won't experience as much hunger at the end of the night.

  • If you're heading for the library, pack a bag of apple slices, nuts, or a cheese stick to munch on while studying.
  • If the bars are the hangout place for the evening, throw a bag of goldfish or pretzels into your bag before you leave.
  • When going over to a friend's house, take along a healthy snack item to add to the mix—like gourmet popcorn or baby carrots—so you'll have a better option when everyone else goes for the cookies or chips!

Get organized

  • If your habit is to head straight for the refrigerator when you come home late at night, move the healthier items to the front, so they are the first thing your eyes see. By moving the less healthy foods to the sides or the back of the shelf, you may find yourself making a healthier choice at the end of the night.
  • Think about putting a healthy, non-perishable snack out on the counter before you leave for the evening. If it's already out when you come home, you're more likely to gravitate towards it.

Portion sizes

  • People have a tendency to snack mindlessly, especially late at night. If you grab the entire bag of something, you may end up eating more than necessary. Instead, use a small bowl and fill it with one portion.
  • Just because some foods are conveniently portioned in small containers does not necessarily mean they are only one serving. Always read the nutrition label to find out what a serving size is and how many calories you would consume if you ate or drank the whole thing.