Nighttime snacking: it happens to the best of us sometimes. Maybe you’re exhausted at the end of the day and turn to food to help you cope with your stress and fatigue. Or, maybe you just haven’t eaten enough during the day, and you find yourself trying to pack in some extra calories at night. Then, there’s the common scenario of kicking back on the couch, enjoying a Netflix and goodie binge.

Whatever it is that causes you to get the munchies late in the evening, if you’re eating at night, you may be consuming extra calories. If you’ve had weight loss surgery, you know that you still have to work at eating right to maintain a healthy weight. If eating late in the day is your dieting downfall, here are some ideas to tame the midnight munchies.

1: Eat a protein-packed breakfast

Having a healthy breakfast will not only help your day start out on the right foot, but recent studies show that if your breakfast has at least 30 grams of protein in it, you may crave less sugary foods at night. At WeightWise, we recommend limiting carbs. Carbs set you up for hunger and overeating.

2: Eat well during the day

If you’re skipping meals throughout the day, or you’re just loading up on snacks, change your strategy. Not eating enough during the day will leave you feeling ravenous come evening time. Before you know it, you’re craving junk food late at night more often than not. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit and lean proteins. These will help you feel fuller and decrease the desire to graze through the kitchen in the evening.

A woman eats marshmallows from a jar.

3: Stay away from the kitchen

Make a rule to stay away from the kitchen late at night. Head to bed and stay there. If you’re in an area that is far enough away from the kitchen, you’ll be less likely to end up standing in front of the fridge or pantry contemplating which empty-calorie food you can indulge in next.

4: Talk to yourself about what’s healthy and what’s not

We all know that little voice in your head that tells you that the tub of ice cream in the fridge is your friend or that the bag of chips is calling your name. Before you give into that voice, start quizzing yourself on which items are healthy and which items will help you work toward your goal of living a healthier lifestyle.

5: Exercise every day

Working out regulates hunger. Exercise can temporarily decrease hunger, and of course it burns off calories. Take a walk after dinner or complete another form of light to moderate activity.

The dietitians at WeightWise are here to help you succeed with a post-bariatric diet. Give our medical professionals a call and see how we can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

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