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I seem to always get hungry at night when I'm watching tv. I'm trying to lose weight and do well all day. I drink my water and watch my portion but at night I need something to snack on. Home made French fries are my kryptonite. In order to stay away from my French fries I've been eating a small bowl of Sun flower seeds every night. I know it's not good to eat past 8 but is there something I can eat that's night going to make me feel like crap but will keep me busy for a while

May 29, 2014

Thanks for your question! This is a common concern and one that should be addressed.

Nighttime snacking is the downfall for most people. The reason it is considered unhealthy is because we usually go for sweets or carbohydrate-laden foods (such as French fries). These foods are usually used for energy throughout the day- but at night, we are moving less (and therefore use less energy), so they are stored as excess calories and can lead to weight gain.

I do not believe “eating past 8” is a rule to live by - it is better to have a healthy snack than going to bed hungry. Something to consider first, though: What are your dinners like? If you are hungry at night, are you truly hungry? Or is it a craving? Learning to recognize the difference is something most people have forgotten to know how to do, and usually results in mindless (or useless) snacking. Furthermore, if your meals are balanced, you should be less hungry later on because you are actually satisfied. A balanced meal has:

- Protein (not including dairy or cheese)
- 2-3 servings of Carbohydrate (including starchy vegetables): see The Slice Plan for what a serving is,
- Fruits and/or Vegetables

Protein, when paired with an appropriate amount of healthy carbohydrates, helps satiety come into play and keep you fuller longer. This should then negate the need for a nighttime snack. But, cravings happen, so let's talk about healthy snacks at night. A healthy snack should include a protein and plant-based carbohydrate (such as from fruit) without a grain-based carbohydrate that will convert to energy that you will likely not use. Consider the following:
- 1 handful of fruit (like grapes or apple) and 3 oz. Cheese
- 1 handful Nuts, Seeds (like sunflower seeds)
- 1 container Greek yogurt
- Fruit and 1 TB peanut butter
- Cocoa powder and Milk (cocoa powder has no sugar)

I hope this information helps. Happy Eating!

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