How I Stopped Snacking at Night For Good

How I Stopped Snacking at Night For Good

I’ve tried to stop snacking at night about one zillion times in my life (roughly). I’d get started with it and then after one night of success think, “Well, I did it last night, so tonight it’s okay to have something.” Know where that lead? To snacking every night again. Sometimes my snack would be something simple and healthy, like a microwaved apple with some cinnamon and walnuts. More often than not, though, it would be cookies or ice cream or peanut butter filled pretzels.

And it wasn’t like I was eating because I was hungry (which I’m all for), I was eating because it was a habit, plain and simple. Sit on the couch to watch TV? Must be time to eat!

But this time I think I’ve truly done it, because I don’t even think about snacking after dinner anymore. I sit down and watch TV and even if my husband is having a snack, I’m not tempted.

How to stop snacking at night

Here’s how I finally kicked night time snacking to the curb and know I’ll stick to it.

I did the simplest thing possible

I’m always trying to eat as healthfully as possible, but sometimes I take on too much at once. I read an article that mentioned the best way to create new health habits is to pick just one thing that’s almost too easy and work on that before doing anything else.

Since snacking at night seemed simple, if not necessarily easy, I chose that but I did nothing else to tweak my diet AT ALL when I was working on it. That means I wasn’t trying to eliminate sugar or coffee or eat paleo or count calories or carbs or anything. I focused on giving up eating after dinner, the end.

I chose a day and I just did it

I eat dinner pretty early since I have a young child, so when we ate I fortified myself with a few extra bites because I was worried about getting hungry later. You know what else I did? I ate a little dessert right after dinner. I would often eat dessert a couple hours later for my snack, but I felt like my serving sizes were kind of unreasonable. Eating it right after dinner was win-win: I still got to eat dessert, but I was eating a much smaller portion because I was still full from dinner.

I admit, the first night was hard. It was so ingrained in my brain to have a snack around 8 when my husband and I sat down to watch TV that I really had to remind myself that tonight was going to be different. I even felt a few (perhaps imagined?) hunger pangs.

I went to bed around 10 and felt good when I woke up. I was happy with what I’d done, and that motivated me to keep going. The next night was easier, and each subsequent night was even better.

I told my husband so I’d keep myself accountable

I said out loud to him “I’m not eating at night anymore.” I laid it out there, and if he mentioned ice cream or some other snack when we were at the store I just said “I’m not eating at night anymore.” In the past I had trouble saying that and putting my foot down, but this time it was different.

I think the real reason I was able to make this a permanent shift is this: I started sleeping better almost immediately. I’ve often had issues where I wake up an hour after I fall asleep feeling off, or waking up at three in the morning with a slight stomach ache. When I stopped eating at night those symptoms disappeared completely. I started sleeping much more soundly, and my body seemed to be adjusting really well to the changes.

It’s been about six weeks, but I don’t even think about snacking anymore at night. I still eat what I want, just right after dinner and in a smaller portion size, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

If you’re looking to make a similar change in your eating routine, my advice is to work on only giving up snacking at night, nothing else. Tell someone you’re doing it so they can hold you accountable. Give it a fair chance to see if it’s improving your life or health, because that’s what will truly get you to stick to it. Good luck!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (3)
  • Riddler
    1 week ago

    That’s good.
    But what about snack at bedtime to help prevent lows? I was hitting very low seventies and even had some in sixties. I’m not one to feel the lows or highs.

    A couple friends of mine also diabetics didn’t realize that not all of us can feel it like others. Any rate saw doctor this past Tuesday and she told me to make sure I have a snack at bedtime(actually I’m doing mine about two hrs before bedtime). Said to have one sl of bread, a choice of a piece of ham, turkey breast or cheese and 4oz of milk.

    Should had seen the wife. She misunderstood me and thought I had said the doctor told me to eat the bread and all of the others at bedtime instead of choosing one. Boy was that fun trying to get to understand what I had actually said. 😉

    But was told by my doctor that if read before snack was in sixties to have two sl of bread otherwise make it just one sl along with the ‘choice’ of the others.

    Glad you’re able to control like that. I was doing same until saw doctor and she was worried about me having lows in sleep and not waking up to take care of it due to body not letting me know I’m having them. Such is life. Right?

  • Margot moderator
    1 week ago

    Riddler,

    Haha! I am imagining the face of thinking they said to eat everything all at once! Of course, recommendations can vary by person and instance so we always recommend checking in with one’s doctor/care team before making changes (like adding or removing nighttime snacks). Thanks so much for sharing what you’ve been working on with your doctor!

    Margot, Type2Diabetes.com Team

  • Riddler
    1 week ago

    Margot,

    It was a nice time trying to get it through the wife to understand what I had actually said. 😉 But now she’s used to it and helps in that. We get those ‘ham steaks’ and I grill them on the George Foreman outdoor/indoor grill. Has nice seer marks on them and tastes great. She cuts them into small portions so it will work as a snack. And it’s big enough piece when grilling that she also has some set aside for her meals as well.

    Still need to get some turkey breast and do same so I can alternate with each other and not get burned out on just one thing all the time.

    I eat the multi-grain bread all the time so just grab a slice of that to go with the meat. Toss some mustard on the bread, put the ham portion on it and have that small amount of milk and good to go.

    Yep, you would had been laughing the rear off watching what transpired that next morning trying to get her to see that I didn’t say ‘all’ three choices at one time twice, one at 4:00 and one at bedtime. 🙂

    The part of checking with doctor is something I’ve always said to people when talking to them. I’ll tell what I’ve done and am doing but will also tell them that the saying ‘Mileage may vary’ holds very true in diabetes(another story with other half that still happens).

    Talked with a type 2 yesterday who was getting insulin. Said he was surprised when doctor told to start using it along with met now. I told him that it happens. Not to worry, the doctor was taking care of him. That as we get older and have had it longer what we do gets to be where we need more help than what we have been doing. Not for him to feel something he’s done/doing wrong. Our body just needs something added later and just can’t help it because going to happen. We just have to be prepared and not shocked when it does and to go with the flow of things. We can only do so much before it says ‘hey, I’m getting stronger than you are now, what you going to do this time?’ So not to worry.

    Will be looking for new doctor come January. Hope can find good one like I’ve always had in past. 🙁

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