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How to Control Late Night Cravings

young woman watching TV

During the day we try to be conscious about making good snack and meal choices but when late night cravings strike, it can be hard to beat the midnight munchies. If you are guilty of succumbing to late night snacks, be mindful of the clock and know that the sight, smell, taste, or even the thought of favorite foods can bring about intense cravings. To help you survive those odd times you want to indulge, try these strategies to control your late night cravings.

  • Control hunger all day. The first step to controlling hunger all day is to start with a healthy breakfast, within 90 minutes of waking. Then make an effort to eat every five hours. This will keep your blood sugar levels steady, which will ward off the rumblings for a late night snack.
  • Consume a fiber rich dinner. To increase your evening meal fiber intake, begin your dinner with a hearty vegetable soup or a large tossed salad. The two types of fiber in the vegetables have double the benefits. Soluble fiber keeps your blood sugars stable, and insoluble fiber keeps you feeling fuller, lessening the urge to snack at night.
  • Dine later for dinner. If you usually eat at 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening, consider pushing back your dinnertime one hour. This will leave you less time to snack at night before going to bed, lowering the chances of indulging in midnight temptations.
  • Keep unhealthy snacks out of your house. If you bring snacks into your home that you can’t resist, your willpower and determination won’t stand a chance, no matter what time of day it is! If a favorite treat is in the house, it’s going to get eaten. Solve this problem by not buying the items that trigger unhealthy late night eating. If it’s not in your house, you can’t eat it!
  • Pre-plan your meals and snacks. By creating a meal plan, you’ll often crave what you are planning to eat. If you plan healthy meals and snacks, you’re more likely to desire the healthy foods you’ve planned for.
  • Stretch your evening snack. If you have a habit of late night snacking, consider swapping your current munchies for a healthier alternative that will last longer. If you find comfort in a bag of chips, try several cups of air-popped popcorn. Craving something sweet? Try a frozen fudge Popsicle, or yogurt and fruit.
  • Keep yourself busy. Most people eat at odd times out of boredom. Try to eliminate this downtime by keeping your hands busy with a hobby like knitting or drawing, or simply spend time catching up on your emails or playing a game on your phone.


The key to controlling late night cravings is by being prepared with these strategies. Start your day off right with breakfast, eat several small meals or snacks a day, and increase your fiber intake at dinner. Create a meal plan and don’t bring snacks you can’t resist into your house. If you find yourself unprepared and facing the midnight munchies, try popping a piece of gum, drinking some hot tea or a glass of water, or brushing your teeth to make it through the night. Once you’ve made it to morning, you’ve beaten the craving. Wake up with a better plan for the day by using these strategies to control your cravings.