Snacking for Weight Loss: Is Nighttime Snacking Okay? 

Snacking for Weight Loss: Is Nighttime Snacking Okay? 

Snacking for weight loss... is it possible? Snacking—at any time of the day—has kind of gotten a bad rap, especially snacking at nighttime. But is this bad rap deserved?

Does snacking hinder your progress, or can it actually help you lose weight? And what about nighttime snacking?

Today, we’re diving deep into snacking to help you understand if you could or should include it in your weight loss plan.

Can I Achieve Results If I Snack During the Day Or Late at Night?

The short answer is YES! However, we need to explain that YES! answer a bit. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Weight Control Information Network...

“ does not matter what time of day you eat. It is what and how much you eat and how much physical activity you do during the whole day that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight.”

The problem with any type of snacking, but especially with nighttime snacking, is that often, those snacks put you over your daily calories (and macros, if you’re a macro tracker). And this can definitely lead to weight gain.

Another problem with snacking is that many people find that they go into that snack thinking, “I’ll just eat a little bit.” And then...they eat more than “just a little bit.” And for nighttime snacking, it can be so easy to overdo it once the sun goes down, especially if you’re feeling one of the following:

Here’s the deal: When that “little bit” turns into a lot, those extra calories can lead to weight gain. When you eat more calories than you burn during the day, you WILL gain weight. #truth

And let’s be totally real: If you feel hungry, and you keep putting off filling that need, you’ll eventually eat all the things in sight. Which is definitely not going to be healthy OR help you achieve your goals.

So, what do you do? Become a smart snacker!

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Snacking for Weight Loss Tips & Tools

Hotel fridge to stay on track with weight loss

Here are some tips and tools to help you become a smart snacker.

1. Build a Nighttime Snack Into Your Daily Nutrition Plan

Think of your daily nutrition plan like a budget. You only have so many calories (or macros, if you’re a macro tracker) for the day, and ideally—and to achieve your goals, you don’t want to go over that budget with that nighttime snack. This tip also applies to any snacks! Going over your budget = extra calories = extra lbs.

2. No Matter When You Snack, Do It Mindfully

Put a portion of a snack in a bowl or baggie and only eat that much. Don’t take the whole box or bag with you, telling yourself that you’ll only eat “that much.”

And since we often snack while watching TV at night, pay attention to what and how much you’re eating—be mindful!

Bonus tip: While you’re eating that snack, enjoy it! Savor every bite. Make it last as long as possible (which will also help you feel fuller sooner!)

3. Be Careful to Not Let Nighttime Activities Equate to Snack Time

Don't let nighttime activities automatically equate to snacking unless you’re truly hungry. Like, “I’m going to watch a movie, so I need a snack.” That’s a cycle you don’t want to get into!

4. If You’re Feeling Hungry Night After Night, Do Some Journaling

This can help you figure out what’s behind those nighttime cravings. Are you bored? Stressed? Anxious? Tired? What’s going on?

And then put some plans in place to help you do something other than snack when those feeling hits. See below for some great ideas!

5. Create a List of Activities You Can Do Instead of Eating

Here are some ideas:

  • take a walk
  • read a book
  • enjoy a bath
  • call a friend
  • write a note to someone
  • play a game with your partner and/or your family
  • learn a new hobby
  • do a quick workout...anything other than snacking!

6. Space Your Meals Throughout the Day and Into the Nighttime

If you find yourself getting that snacky feeling in the afternoon, plan an afternoon snack time, then plan for dinner at a time that will help keep you fuller longer into the night. In our carb cycling plans, we recommend eating 5 meals/snacks a day, spaced every 3 hours.

So, if you eat breakfast at 8AM, for example, then you’ll eat again at 11AM, 2PM (afternoon snack time!), 5PM, and 8PM (nighttime snack time!?)

7. Eat A Portion of Protein with Every Single Meal and Snack

We not only need protein to build and repair pretty much everything in our body—especially those muscles, but it’s also the most immediately satiating macronutrient. It helps you feel fuller longer!

So make sure you’re enjoying protein in every snack and meal!

Options for Healthy Snacks Late at Night (Or Throughout the Day too!)

If you’ve tried the above tips and tools, and you still KNOW you need a snack, here are some healthier options to choose from:

Drink a Glass of Water

Start here. When we think we’re hungry, we’re often really just thirsty. And make sure you’re drinking water throughout the day too. How much should you be drinking every day? We recommend ½ your body weight in ounces (150 lbs = 75 oz of water).

Go for Mint

Chew a piece of minty gum or brush your teeth. It might not make sense, but that minty flavor can actually suppress your appetite!

Drink ½ a Meal Replacement Shake

One of our favorite snacking tip is to mix ½ a scoop of our TransformHQ Low Carb Meal Replacement Shake into your favorite low-calorie liquid (water, unsweetened almond milk, etc.), then follow your shake with 1-2 glasses of water.

Why is this our favorite tip? Our shakes are low in calories, they can help increase feelings of fullness and satiety, our yummy flavors can satisfy your sweet tooth, and you’ll get that protein (10 grams per ½ scoop!) you might be missing in your nutrition plan.

Drink a Nighttime Shake

Designed to help curb cravings & support sleep, TransformHQ Nighttime Shake is the perfect way to wind down after dinner and get ready for bed.

Plus with delicious flavors, you'll be satisfying your cravings with a healthy shake!

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Choose Healthier Foods to Snack On

If all of the above tips don’t work, try one of these options that have fat and/or fiber, which can really help!

Veggies: You’ll get that satisfying crunch + vitamins and minerals. Opt for the non-starchy/non-root ones when possible.

Popcorn. Crunch + fiber = filling satisfaction! Just make sure it’s the no-butter/light butter type.

Water (1-2 glasses!) + one of these options (notice we said ONE!). Often, just a little bit of healthy fat will knock that craving to the curb!

  • Small handful of almonds
  • Peanut butter or almond butter (1 tablespoon)
  • String cheese (1 stick)
  • Avocado (1 tablespoon)

Here’s the bonus: These tips can work any time you get that snacky craving throughout the day!

Become a Smart Snacker!

If snacking—especially if it’s adding extra calories to your day—has been a problem for you, choose 1 of the tips above (only ONE at a time!), and give it a try!

And when choosing that 1 tip, start with the easiest one for you to do every single time. Go one step further and make it a Power Promise! When done smartly, snacking for weight loss really can be your transformation friend!

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