I don’t know what it is about feeling the need to snack at night, but I think most of us struggle with our eating after 5pm more than any other time of the day. So what do you do when you want results, but you want to snack?
The answer really depends on your goal. If you want to reach your goal fast, then snacking almost shouldn’t even be an option. For me, I’ve always allowed myself a 200-calorie window for 100-calorie popcorn, string cheese or beef jerky. But if I want to take things up a notch, even 200 calories can add up to nearly 2 pounds of fat not lost by the end of the month.
Unfortunately, most people graze. They will have a small handful of nuts. Then they may grape a few grapes. Then they decide to pop some popcorn. Before you know it, they have a sweet tooth. It can really get out of control quick, so rules must be in place.
First, let’s look at the facts. You don’t NEED to eat. You probably just ate dinner an hour ago and are actually full. So the one time you don’t really need food, is when you want to eat more food. Does that make any since at all?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself so you can start setting some rules in your home.
1. Decide what your goal is. Put your goal in plain site – on the fridge or on the pantry door. Write notes to yourself of the things you are going to quit doing like this picture. You need something to remind you what you are working for when the snacks try to distract you.
2. Decide how fast you want to reach your goal. Keep track of how you are doing. Whether you track calories on an app like I do (I use LoseIt) or you mark off each day you are on target on a calendar. Once you determine how fast you want results, track your progress along the way.
3. Decide ahead of time what you will or won’t allow. Are you going to go without completely or just limit your snacks?
4. Set a caloric limit on your evening snacks and stick to it. I suggest putting a cap on how many calories you are allowing yourself to eat. That way you have a strict cut off. Otherwise, you will keep having “a little more”.
5. Make a rule that you will not eat ANYTHING unless you count up the calories first. This way, you stay in tune with what you are eating, and the “damage” you are making. Here’s the reality – every calorie you eat is ultimately reflected on the scale. If you don’t want to be frustrated every time you weigh yourself, and you want to gain control of the scale – then learn to gain control of your snacking.
Here is a list of just a few snacks and the equivalent weight loss you would have if you skipped that item. If you are on target all day for weight loss, but exceeded your goal from snacks alone, this is how many more pounds of fat you’d lose each month if you were to forfeit them. REMEMBER: Most people have more than one snack a night, so you can see how quickly this adds up. You can also see why people slowly gain weight – the same happens in reverse.
27 Chips & Salsa = 2 3/4 lbs
1 cup of low-fat ice cream = 2lbs
2 glasses of wine or 2 beers = 2lbs
1 small pack of pistachios = 1 1/4 lbs
100 Calorie Popcorn = 3/4 lbs
2 cups of grapes = 1 1/2lbs
1/2 cup almonds = 3 1/4lbs
10 crackers & 2oz cheese = 3lbs
6. BEFORE you take your first bite of anything, ask yourself “What do I want more? Get faster results or to taste more food?” Are you really going to allow snacks to sabotage your waistline? Seriously, you won’t die if you don’t snack – and the results you want so badly will come SO much faster! Get a grip! (this is really me just talking to myself!)
7. Just say no. I think most of us work so hard to figure out a way to still snack, when maybe what we need is to stop our bad habit to begin with. If you are snacking every night, you are stuck in a habit. Make a snack a treat – not a nightly habit.
8. Aks for accountability. Tell your family your goals. Ask them to not let you snack. This way, when an hour goes by and you’ve already changed your mind, and talked yourself into having a snack anyway, you have support to help talk you back out of it.
Last night I had to talk to myself using these above tips too. Although I am very disciplined throughout the day, I train hard, I count calories – I still fight the snack attacks at night just like most people. I literally had a conversation with myself – and the part of me that wants results won.
In the big scheme of things it’s SUCH a SMALL sacrifice!! And, despite how successful I was last night, I will indeed most likely have the same exact conversation tonight until I get in a better habit of controlling my snacking – but the fit me will win the fight! 🙂
When Chobani hit shelves here locally, the news quickly spread around the gym. This healthy snack was not only delicious, but it was higher in protein than regular yogurt. That’s why we literally have a whole drawer dedicated to it in our refrigerator. We actually eat so much of it, we have an overflow in our 2nd fridge in the garage.
There really aren’t a lot of snacks to choose from that are naturally high in protein. Before Chobani yogurt, the closest thing we could come to was cottage cheese. And, if you are like me, there is no way anyone is getting that lumpy mess down my throat. I just can’t get over the texture.
Then Chobani came and saved the day. Before Chobani I was eating regular yogurt, which can have double the carbs as greek yogurt, especially if you get the kind with fruit in it. It also had practically half the protein Chobani has. For a girl who’s not a big meat eater, the more protein I can get the better.
Why Eat Chobani? Well, for my fitness peeps, eating high-protein snacks, like Chobani (and Designer Whey bars, my other favorite high-protein snack), means preserving muscle and giving your body what it needs to repair muscle after hard workouts. For my non-workout folks, it means preventing muscle loss, which is even more important as we age.
This is why there was no surprise Chobani sponsored for the Olympics. What a perfect FIT! (pun intended!) They naturally power people every single day!
Way to go Chobani! Thank you for powering me – and Team USA!
– B –
I Am a Proud Chobaniac:
If you’re like me, and crave salty snacks, then you are always happy to discover something healthy to feed your craving. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of salty healthy snacks available beside popcorn, so imagine my sheer joy the first time I tried edamame (boiled or steamed soy beans in the pod).
My first edamame experience was at a local asian restaurant, Bangkok. After they came out, I remember thinking “what do I do with that? Do I eat the whole thing or am I supposed to pop the beans out?” Yes, Steve and I were edamame tards. After gnawing on the whole thing for a bit, shell and all, it didn’t take long to discover the stiff stems were not very chewable. We quickly figured it out and they became a part of our regular diet.
They are easy to cook too. I buy the bag of frozen edamame and steam them (which can be done traditionally or in a microwave oven for 5 minutes). Then I sprinkle soy sauce, and/or salt, on them and begin snacking!! Today I cooked them and then threw them in my cooler for the beach. They were an awesome cold snack too.
The greatest part of this salty wonder is they are truly healthy. Most people are just happy to find snacks that are just “not unhealthy”, but edamame is as healthy as it is tasty. Half a bag of edamame is only 150 calories – and a very equal balance of calories I might add! 12.5gms of protein, 6gms of fat, 11gms of carbohydrates and 5gms of fiber. Look at the graph to the left. You can see that edamame gets 31-36% of the calories from each substrate.
Another thing I like about edamame in the shell, is it takes work to get the bean out. Not that it is a big job, because it’s not a bother at all. However, it slows down how fast we typically eat snacks. I enjoy the taste more and the entire snack takes longer to eat than many other similar snacks. Any snack that can slow us down from inhaling it is a good snack!
So, instead of reaching for a bag of chips, next time you are craving something salty to snack on, go steam up some beans!
How to Destroy a Diet in 2 Hours: So, you are dieting and you do good aaaaaaall day long, only to blow every salad, protein shake and healthy snack down the drain in the last 2 hours of the day. Sound familiar?
Why is it we feel the need to snack at night? Will our life really come unraveled if we don’t have a grip on a chip and a drink to sip? Honestly, Steve and I are amazed how much of a struggle this is – and I believe it destroys a lot of very healthy diets.
I eat squeaky clean all day long, only to blow it with popcorn, pretzels or nuts. I always have good intensions, but I always eat more than I should in the end. Could it be worse? Sure it could, but is it preventing me from getting rid of that last bit of fat? Of course it is!
Here are some of the lies we feed ourselves so we can feed ourselves.
1. I’ve eaten so good today, I can afford it.
2. At least they are healthy snacks.
3. It’s probably not that many calories.
4. I’ll just have a few.
5. I can run it off in the morning.
1. You’ve eaten so good today, that’s exactly why you should skip it! Protect your hard work!
2. You can get fat on healthy foods too. Extra calories are extra calories.
3. It’s probably a lot more calories than you want to admit.
4. You never have just a few. You will have “just a little more” and “just a little more” until you’ve eaten too much or you’ve eaten the entire thing!
5. If you are trying to lose weight, you should be running off stuff you’ve already eaten, not more stuff.
6 TIPS TO COMBAT LATE-NIGHT SABOTAGE
1. Plan to be disciplines. Decide BEFORE you get a snack-attack what you can and can’t eat.
2. Avoid alcohol, because not only is that MORE calories but it makes you stupid! The relaxation you feel from a glass of wine is just enough to make you “relaxed” about your diet – and before you know it, you want some cheese with that wine.
3. Stick to prepackaged foods if you have a problem with stopping, like 100 calorie popcorn or jello pudding.
4. Make room for 200 calories of snacks at night so you don’t completely deprive yourself. When you countcalories, you are much more in tune with your body and your food choices. Be creative – try something new like sliced cucumbers with vinegar, salt & pepper or sliced strawberries over a cup of frozen fat free Cool Whip. The thinner the slices, the longer the snack lasts.
5. Have a protein shake. If you are craving sweets, a protein shake can be tasty and super satisfying – plus it helps muscle repair overnight. I like Designer Whey protein powder because it tastes great and is low in calories.
6. Just say no to snacks and yes to your goals. It wouldn’t kill you to just sip on water instead. Sometimes it’s best to not even start snacking – because you may not stop!
Cool Cucumber Salad, by McCormick:
2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers (4 small or 2 large cucumbers)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar (STEVIA)
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Dill Weed
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Black Pepper, Coarse Ground
Pinch McCormick® Red Pepper, Ground
Bonnie’s Strawberries Parfait:
1/2 Cup Frozen Fat Free Cool Whip
6 Thinly sliced strawberries
1 Tablespoon of Grape-Nuts
The frozen cool whip has texture more like ice cream. The thinner the slices of strawberry, the more bites you get. Grape-Nuts just add a bit of crunch to it!! Trade the cool whip for vanilla greek yogurt for more protein and nutrients. Totally yummy!
As a fitness professional, I have the privilege to try all kinds of new products – well, I WOULD have a chance to try all kinds of fitness products …if Steve didn’t get his grubby little hands on them first! ha!
Last night, around 2:00am in the morning, I could hear Steve getting back in bed after, what I knew to be, a trip to the kitchen. Then I smelled a sweet chocolatey smell. In that very moment, I realized he raided my Designer Whey protein bar stash.
Secretly smirking, I said, “how was the protein bar?”
He giggled like a 5 year boy and replied “yummyyyyyy”.
I followed with, “make sure you leave me some so I can sample all the flavors and tweet which ones I like”.
He replies “um… that maaaay be a problem. Maybe insteaaad, you can tweet that your husband liked them sooooooooooo(said in a very high little voice)ooooooo much, that they were aaaaaaaaaall (still in that high pitch little-boy voice) gone before you could try them all. YES! That think that would be a GREAT tweet!
He continued, “I like me some Designer Whey protein bars! Boy are they yummy in my tummy!” again, in that little boy voice, as if trying to make sure he sounds so cute he doesn’t get in trouble. And, I’m afraid it worked. Little Devil!
MORAL OF THE STORY:
That little booger ate them all! I only got to have one! The moral of the story is, Designer Whey protein bars were a hit at our house. Steve said he liked the Double Dutch Chocolate the best – but then again, I wouldn’t know! ha! Looks like I’ll have to hit a GNC and pick up some more bars so I actually try them all myself!! I better find a better hiding place!
DIET TIP: If you wake up in the middle of the night hungry, celebrate! That normally means you whizzed right through your calories and your metabolism is on FIRE! A small snack like this protein bar or a hand full of almonds normally will kill the hunger. Typically, something with a little fat will keep you full longer.
Next on my list to try: Designer Whey’s Protein 2GO!
To jerk or not to jerk, PART 2: You Won’t Eat Jerky but you’ll eat Chips?
This blog is about helping my fellow salty snack lovers find a solution to their snacky habits, as well as answer your questions (and I have gotten a lot of questions about sodium). EVERYONE is ALWAYS asking me what to eat – so I’m telling ya.
To follow up on my PerkyJerky review, I decided to continue researching sodium content. I compared 1 oz. of PerkyJerky to 1 oz. Baked Doritos. Results were really cool so I thought I’d share them with you! NOTE: I am not even using the highest fat, highest sodium, highest calorie snack to compare PerkyJerky too …because that’s how I roll.
2. Less Calories: Chips had 120 calories. PerkyJerky had only 50 calories! So all the taste and NO guilt!
3. More Protein: This goes without saying, but felt I should rub this in too. The chips had a measly 2gms of protein compared to 9gms in the jerky.
4. Less Carbs. Another no-brainer, but it still should be mentioned – PerkyJerky only has 2gms of carbohydrates versus 21gms of carbs in the chips.
5. Less Fat: Even though the Baked! chips are low fat, they still had 3.5gms of fat in them compared to PerkyJerky’s big fat NADA, ZILCH, ZIP, ZERO grams of fat.
Share YOUR favorite salty snacks with me (below)!