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When to Snack to Beat Late Night Food Cravings


Most healthy eating plans stress the importance of snacking between meals. My nutritionist, Keri Gans, says that I should eat two snacks per day, one between breakfast and lunch and the other between lunch and dinner. Keri says depending on the time of day you eat breakfast, sometimes you can skip the mid-morning snack since there’s not enough time between breakfast and lunch. But, Keri says, do not skip your mid-afternoon snack! That one is a must for everyone. It keeps you from overeating at dinnertime or later.

I found this out the hard way last week. Usually I eat lunch at 1:30 p.m. and dinner at 8:00 p.m., so by about 5:00 p.m., I am ready to eat a little something. But, during a particularly busy workday last week, I forgot my 5:00 p.m. snack. By the time I realized it, it was already 6:30 and time for me to head home. I decided to skip the snack and just eat dinner. Big mistake! I ate my normal dinner at 8:00, but I found myself hungry again at around 10:00 p.m. and ended up in the pantry scrounging for something to munch on!

I realize now that if I had eaten my mid-afternoon snack, I wouldn’t have been so hungry after dinner. Now, I make sure to have my mid-afternoon snack so I won’t wind up paying for it later with extra calories.

Another tip from Keri: snacks should be a balanced combination of a protein and a carb and contain no more than 200 calories; after-dinner snacks should be 100 calories or less. Who knew that snacking would be the key to staying on a diet! 

What are your go to mid-afternoon snacks? Please share your ideas with me in the comments below!

Our 2012 Weight Loss Diary writer, Yasmin, is a 32-year-old web content producer who is looking to get healthy and love her body! Follow along on her year-long weight loss journey!

Who’s helping Yasmin? Tiara Coaching Life coach Alison Miller, Ph.D, nutritionist Keri Gans, R.D, and Equinox personal trainer Stephanie Pipia.


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