It’s 9:00 pm and the ice cream is calling you from the freezer.  If late night cravings are your thing, you are not alone!  Yearning for salty, sugary starchy foods is hard-wired into our circadian rhythms, and can derail weight loss efforts quickly.  With a few quick tweaks, you can overcome cravings in a snap!

Hunger vs. Emotions

    • First, determine if the rumbling in your stomach is real or if it’s just an underlying emotion.  If you’ve eaten a full meal in the past 2-3 hours, chances are it might be emotions.  Take a moment to tune into your emotions.  Are you cranky, sad, upset, or just tired?  If you are tired, go to bed! Otherwise, find an activity you can do to distract yourself.  Browse Pinterest, paint, go on a walk, play an instrument, or read a book.  Think of something that will engage your mind.

Consider Your Caloric Budget

  • Not hungry, but emotional and have some calories left?  Have a low calorie snack that lasts a while.  Give these snacks a try:
    • 100 calorie pack popcorn
    • Lay’s poppables or Protein chips
    • Fruit popsicle
    • Yasso frozen Greek yogurt bar
    • Light cool whip and fruit
    • Sugar-free jello or pudding
  • Hungry, but no calories left?  If you truly feel hungry and are having trouble sleeping, have a snack that is high in protein and fiber.  Be sure to measure out the portion instead of eyeballing.  Try to keep this snack between 100-300 calories.
    • Apple slices and yogurt
    • Whole grain crackers and cheese
    • Quaker “Weight Control” oatmeal
    • Whole grain cereal and milk
    • Protein shake or bar

Plan for a Late Night Snack

    • If you can’t kick a craving that happens almost every night, plan for it!  Save one of your snacks for the evening.  Be sure to hit your protein and fiber goals if the midnight snack will be a treat.  This means loading up on vegetables, fruit, and lean proteins earlier in the day.


Your CoreLife Registered Dietitian is here for you to help work through these cravings.  Ask them about these or other tactics to find ways of curbing cravings that work for you.