The Wellness Hat: Nighttime Nibbler

I’m a nighttime nibbler. Blame it on habit, or the fact that I’m finally relaxing for the first time in the day, but around 9pm every night my mind starts thinking about snacking. Usually a banana, but still …
I joined Weight Watchers in October 2010 after gaining 60 pounds (yes, 6-0!) with my daughter, I was determined to get it all off. Hey, she was over 9 lbs when she was born (naturally) so I get a gold … no, make that a platinum medal of honor. Anyway, I’m happy to say that my daughter is 13 months old and I only have 7 pounds to go. If you’re interested, I’ll take you on my weight-loss journey (that miserable journey) in future blog posts.
Back to my point.
I was reading an article about nighttime nibbling from Weight Watchers. Below is their answer to a question asked regarding ways to stop nighttime snacking. And here’s a cartoon from Cathy Thorne that I just adore.

Some people seem prone to nighttime nibbling when they cut back too much on their evening meal or eat too little throughout the day. It’s important therefore to determine whether or not you leave the dinner table feeling full. If the answer is “no,” try adding a bit more substance to your supper.

Round out your dinner with low-calorie foods that are loaded with fiber, such as vegetables, beans or fruit. Consider opting for starches that are higher in fiber, such as brown rice instead of white rice or yams instead of regular potatoes.

You should also consider the total nutrient composition of your meal. If your dinner primarily consists of quickly absorbed carbohydrates (pasta with marinara sauce, for example), you’re not giving your body much long-lasting energy to run on. The inclusion of longer-lasting energy sources like lean protein (chicken, shrimp, tofu) and healthy fats (a few nuts, a splash of olive or canola oil, a sprinkling of low-fat or non-fat cheese) should tide you over better for the long-term.

If you’ve already added grilled shrimp, steamed broccoli and a touch of part-skim or fat-free mozzarella cheese to your pasta but you end up nibbling all night long anyway, ask yourself if after dinner snacking is simply a matter of habit. Perhaps you’re bored, tired or finally relaxing for the first time all day. The next time these feelings surface, try to be more aware of what might be driving your urge to eat. Try keeping yourself (and your hands) busy by reading a book, taking a candle-lit bath, knitting or painting instead of snacking.

Because discovering what triggers your urge to snack can be a gradual process, it’s important to find some calorie-friendly substitutes to hold you over in the interim. Grape tomatoes, frozen seedless grapes, baby carrots dipped into salsa or black bean dip, vegetable soup and light microwave popcorn are all great options.


2 thoughts on “The Wellness Hat: Nighttime Nibbler

  1. Hello,
    I have looked at your blog often since discovering it when you were freshly pressed awhile back 🙂 This is my first time commenting though. Good for you for losing the weight! It is a “miserable journey” isn’t it?! I envy people who are instantly back to their slim pre-baby selves but admire those who go through the “process” to get there. I gained *ahem* more than 60 lbs…but less than 80 haha, when I had my daughter 18 months ago. Let’s just say I weighed more than my husband when all was said and done which felt….awesome. Anyhoo, you have a great blog, an adorable daughter, and you’ve obviously done well with getting back in shape. Good job!