Lifestyle How to Beat Night-Time Snack Cravings

late-night food cravings

We’ve all been there. After a long day and you’re lying in bed or watching Breaking Bad for the 30th time on binge, your stomach growls for a snack. For me, it’s a sweet and salty. I have learned to make a cottage cheese dessert with crushed saltine crackers and this beats the craving. If I need more. I eat a whole pickle. That knocks it out completely and I rest.

A good question to ask is why are late-night cravings so hard to resist? And how can we combat them?

What Causes Late-Night Cravings?

There are a few elements that come into play when it comes to late-night cravings. A lot of it is our habits and lifestyle choices. For example, if you’re not getting enough sleep at night, you may be more likely to reach for a sugary snack or caffeinated beverage in order to give yourself a boost of energy. Eating too little throughout the day can lead to intense hunger pangs later in the evening, making it harder for us to resist those unhealthy treats.

Hormones and Hunger Levels/The why behind the cravings

The hormones leptin and ghrelin are two key players in determining hunger levels throughout the day and evening. Leptin is a hormone that suppresses appetite, while ghrelin increases hunger sensations. The body produces more ghrelin than leptin throughout the day, which is why we feel hungrier around dinnertime.

However, as the evening progresses and our bodies prepare for sleep, leptin production increases while ghrelin production decreases. This means that when it comes to late-night cravings, our bodies can tell us something different from what we think they are telling us.

Here’s a few tips that I have learned to crush the cravings.

1) Eat Regularly Throughout The Day

Make sure that you’re not skipping meals and eating frequently enough throughout the day. This will help prevent extreme hunger pangs later at night and make it easier for you to resist junk food snacks.
It doesn’t matter if it is six frequent smaller meals or three larger meals. It matters that you’re getting the full spectrum of carbs, protein, and fats. Also, adding more protein to your diet as whole food sources like tuna, chicken, meat, etc will stay in your stomach longer, making you feel fuller longer.

2) Get Enough Sleep

Make sure that you’re getting enough restful sleep every night so that you don’t have the urge to reach for something sugary or caffeinated in order to give yourself an energy boost. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

3) Hydrate

Stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water and avoiding sugary drinks as much as possible. A good rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces. Of course, you can drink more! This will help keep your stomach feeling full without consuming too many unnecessary calories from sugary drinks or alcohol. I have noticed that when I cannot get enough water in; I feel hungrier through the day.

4) Have Healthy Alternatives On Hand

If possible, try keeping healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, or vegetables nearby so that if a craving strikes late at night, you have something healthier on hand instead of reaching for junk food options. Mind your macros with your fats. If you eat a handful of nuts how do you know how many extra calories of fats you’re taking in? Serving sizes count, and if you are dieting, measure in grams on your food scale. Make it fit your macros and make it filling enough to squash the craving.

5) Distract Yourself

Instead of giving into your cravings right away, try distracting yourself with activities like reading or taking a walk around the block before reaching for food altogether. Dont bring your phone on your walk. I stopped doing that and my walks have become almost therapeutic and bring inner tranquility. Your craving might pass after a while and you won’t feel tempted to indulge in anything unhealthy. If it is still an issue, eat something nutritious and low in calories, like apples, pears, or a favorite fruit that is crunchy.
If you’re sitting down ask yourself why? If it can be an activity where you can move around, for example, on a phone call usually seated, get up and walk around. This is known as Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). It counts as calories burned so get up off your ass and move!


Eating healthier doesn’t have to be difficult – even for those pesky late-night cravings! By following these tips and staying mindful about what we eat during the day, we can successfully combat those late-night snack cravings without feeling deprived or restricted!

So take these tips into consideration next time you feel like snacking late at night – your future self will thank you!

Marzarella Fitness

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