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Nighttime noshing

Nótt riding Hrímfaxi by Peter Nicolai Arbo (night personified in Norse mythology)

Nótt riding Hrímfaxi by Peter Nicolai Arbo (night personified in Norse mythology)

Ever since I’ve resumed my job as dining critic at the AJC, I’ve become careful about watching my diet during those times I’m not in restaurants.

I keep a loose mental accounting of calorie intake and avoid foods with excessive fat and sodium, stay away from office sweets (even my own birthday cake) and avoid alcohol on school nights. I am disciplined for most of the day.

But the witching hour gets me — usually around 9 or 10 p.m. after I’ve helped the kids with their homework and slowed down enough to finally feel relaxed. Suddenly I’m hungry and I’ll find myself slurping up some dinner leftovers above and beyond my measured portion. Worse, I’ll find my left mitt clutching a handful of cocoa puffs or a wee dram of Scotch.

Sometimes I can head diet disaster off at the pass with a tall soda water with lime or a fresh plum. A Popsicle isn’t ideal, but it’s usually no more than 90 calories.

Does anyone else have this problem, and if so, do you have any good strategies to offer?

47 comments Add your comment

1164mgc

September 14th, 2010
11:57 am

I have this problem and to “fix” it I make sure I have a good dinner earlier – otherwise if I get the “hungries” later I’ll limit myself to fruit, juice or a pickle!

Northside Food

September 14th, 2010
12:03 pm

I make popcorn. I make mine on the stove and just put salt on it, no butter. It satisfies my craving for crunchy salty foods without adding a ton of fat and calories to my diet.

rebelliousrose

September 14th, 2010
12:24 pm

Raw carrots. Crunchy, chewy, healthy, and naturally sweet. I keep a five-pound bag at all times. Also, I will open a bag of frozen veg blend, saute with a little ponzu and ginger, and what I don’t eat becomes lunch the next day.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ajcdinecritic, John Kessler. John Kessler said: NIghttime noshing http://bit.ly/99XBJb [...]

The KING

September 14th, 2010
12:47 pm

I would retire to the bedroom with my ole lady. Watch a lil tv and let her do the work. That usually relaxes me enough to drift off.

Stephie

September 14th, 2010
1:29 pm

I tend to steer towards a pickle or 3, bag of popcorn, sugar free popsicles, or an apple witha bit of honey. That generally helps me out. Good luck.

Rodney

September 14th, 2010
1:34 pm

I recently discovered the vacuum fried (not quite sure what that means, but anyway) banana chips at Trader Joe’s. They’re kinda my “go to” when I want to crunch something at you-shouldn’t-be-crunching-anything times.

I find a spoonful of Nutella does the trick, too. It takes a lot of work to get it all off the spoon so POSSIBLY (but not probably) you’re burning a few calories while doing it!

ted

September 14th, 2010
2:22 pm

Glass of lowfat milk. Sometimes a few crackers with peanut butter, but I have to count them out or I sit there and eat about 20 before I start feeling full.

Generally need to do better at this, too.

markie mark

September 14th, 2010
2:38 pm

I guess there aren’t any monitors on this blog after that last post…sure wasn’t expecting that…

Reds

September 14th, 2010
2:51 pm

Gum first. If i’m still hungry, popcorn or a little bit of whatever lunch meat I have on hand. And always, a few glasses of water. I pretty much always chew gum when i am doing the dishes at night, or brush my teeth right after dinner so I feel less compelled to snack.

74 Dawg

September 14th, 2010
2:56 pm

Damn, I thought it was just me. It’s a standing joke w/ my partner (and dog) . 10:00 or so you will find me in the pantry or the fridge. Imprecations thrown in my direction have little effect. Cashews, Jalapeno stuffed olives, left over Chinese are the usual culprits. About the only thing I have found that helps is a large diet soda about 9:30 – 9:45. The problem is not just hunger, it’s those left overs calling to you.

74 Dawg

September 14th, 2010
2:58 pm

Is nighttime noshing the clinical name for this?

Gumby

September 14th, 2010
3:12 pm

I probably consume 80% of my daily caloric intake between 7pm and 11pm. Late dinner, a drink or three, then come the snacks! Bad habit. I just work out for two hours the next morning, eat light all day, then start again the next night. I know, bad…

Go ahead and eat

September 14th, 2010
3:12 pm

Water, water, then some more water. I have been thinking about putting a padlock on my fridge and giving the key to my wife. But I do have bolt cutters in the garage. I feel horrible the next day when I do this. Water has been the only thing that has helped me.

Mr. Ed

September 14th, 2010
3:15 pm

A couple teaspoons of natural peanut butter eaten very slowly and a large glass of ice water cools my jets. Keep the pantry reserve free of foods that tempt. You can’t indulge if it’s not there to eat.

The Devil

September 14th, 2010
3:16 pm

A dozen Krispy Kremes usually does the trick for me when I’m hungry at night. If that doesn’t, I’ll go ahead and work on the Mayfield ice cream.

markie mark

September 14th, 2010
3:44 pm

for those of you who dont understand my comment above, they removed a post above mine about what the poster likes to eat…..nuff said….

bbb

September 14th, 2010
4:09 pm

water. dark chocolate in small amounts. and a delicious beer.

lisa

September 14th, 2010
4:11 pm

Just FYI. The chemical that triggers your hunger in the brain is the same chemical that triggers you brain that you are tired. So try just going to sleep and ignoring the hunger call you will realize the next morning that you were not really hungry just tired. Try it once you will see.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sebastian Dony, Adrian Kearn. Adrian Kearn said: NIghttime noshing: Ever since I've resumed my job as dining critic at the AJC, I've become careful about watching … http://bit.ly/9dMb11 [...]

Night Time Muncher

September 14th, 2010
4:16 pm

I’d buy a treadmill or stationary bike…put it in front of the TV and walk instead of eat…it’s working for me! When you are “triggered” to go snack…walk instead..Good Luck!

colby winters

September 14th, 2010
4:28 pm

it´s a glass of milk for me, sometimes the bigger, the better – filling and healthy

The Amazing Timbo

September 14th, 2010
4:35 pm

I watch Adam on Man vs. Food and live vicariously…

Monica

September 14th, 2010
4:37 pm

A cup of yogurt or a small bowl of healthy cereal does the trick for me.

Kar

September 14th, 2010
4:49 pm

Meat. Around 11, the craving for meat kicks in.

FM Fats

September 14th, 2010
4:56 pm

I find that a cup of Jello sugar free rice pudding takes the edge off at only 70 calories.

Leslie

September 14th, 2010
5:27 pm

Oh yes, the nasty nosher gets me every time! Best cure: will power, will power, will power. Or baring that, dig in and run an extra mile the next day. ;-)

N-GA

September 14th, 2010
5:50 pm

John – Pretend your are a diabetic. There are several products that can help. The one I enjoy the most is “Sans Sucre” (without sugar) brand mousse. It can be prepared with skim milk and allowed to set up in a parfait glass. Sometimes I will layer it with sugar free Kool Whip and no sugar added preserves. There are some calories, but fewer than one would suspect. Portion control still rules, but the quality is superb. My favorite flavor is chocolate, but there a total of 8 flavors. Not easy to find, but I got some at my nearby Ingles.

N-GA

September 14th, 2010
5:52 pm

John – One other “quickie” is in the dairy case. Sugar free Jello brand pudding, particularly the “Boston Cream Pie” flavor. Rich & Creamy!

VickiF

September 14th, 2010
9:18 pm

while it’s still hot out, get some King of Pops popsicles and have one of those! I don’t know what I’m going to do when it gets cold and he has to go inside!

Jack Booted Thug

September 15th, 2010
7:14 am

A Kroger Pizza piled high with extra cheese and jalapenos.
A Jethro Bodin sized bowl of cornflakes.
3 or 4 twinkies or hostess cupcakes with a big glass of milk.
A pint of BlueBell Mint Chocolate chip ice cream.
A quick run to the BK Lounge for a BK Big Fish and fries.

MM MM GOOD!!

Reds

September 15th, 2010
8:05 am

I also make a pudding out of sugar free pudding mix (pistachio is my favorite) and add some vanilla protein powder, and then top with a few roasted unsalted pistachios. :)

John Kessler

September 15th, 2010
8:49 am

Some great ideas here….I’m still considering duct tape, though…

Art

September 15th, 2010
9:47 am

I’m surprised at the number of healthy bloggers there are… Carrots? Sugar free pudding? Packing peanuts? Someone’s not telling the truth. I guess I never see any of you at Waffle House or in the drive-thru at Krystals around midnight. I’ll have a sack full with cheese please.

Reds

September 15th, 2010
10:13 am

Art … only on my “free day” ;) But, yeah, if i get the night time munchies on one of those days, all bets are off. :)

Muffin

September 15th, 2010
11:08 am

I’m a member of the 4 to 5 meals a day movement. I have found that having smaller portions of food throughout the day keeps me from ever really getting to the point that i’m starving. So a small-ish dinner and then a snack between then and bedtime and i’m good to go.

Kirk

September 15th, 2010
11:33 am

Salted peanuts and several shots of Vodak

rebelliousrose

September 15th, 2010
1:23 pm

Art- I have never eaten a Krystal. I just really like carrots. As a kid, if given the choice of a carrot or chips, I went carrot. Mind you, if it was a carrot or a LOBSTER……..

Art

September 15th, 2010
1:38 pm

rebelliousrose- I’ve never eaten a carrot. You can’t get them at Krystal’s… Just kidding!

Cekker

September 15th, 2010
2:26 pm

Do what i do John; don’t have supper until 9pm. I know…bad!

Thinkingoutloud

September 15th, 2010
3:16 pm

I either eat a spoonful of peanut butter….or brush my teeth. Nothing tastes good after toothpaste and listerine.

BRC

September 15th, 2010
4:46 pm

I once read somewhere that a warm or hot beverage will make you feel fuller than an equal amount of a cold one, so I make cup of hot tea when I’m hungry between dinner and bedtime. I favor some kind of herbal, but drink whatever you like. Barely a teaspoon of honey to sweeten to keep down the calories. I don’t know if that thing I read is true, but I choose to believe it since it helps me control the nighttime noshes.

Jason

September 16th, 2010
1:15 am

We eat a lot of frozen yogurt at night (which I know you make because I bought my frozen yogurt maker after your post on it) or just plain fruit. I’m also a fan of sour beers, mainly for taste, but also because they’re low alcohol (and low calorie) and their flavor intensity makes them sippers. Nothing like a glass of Petrus Aged Pale to sip at night.

Gianni

September 16th, 2010
12:59 pm

Raw Almonds…or roasted for that matter 10-12 pieces and you’re good…and good for you too.

Boses

September 16th, 2010
1:13 pm

air popped popcorn or fruit. But the best thing I do, and the only thing that works, is to not have any temptations in the house.

PJ

September 16th, 2010
1:17 pm

Wasabi soy roasted almonds. They satisfy the hunger & the need for bold flavor. Unfortunately, they only seem to come in the smallest containers.

Elizabeth

September 16th, 2010
1:58 pm

Hot tea with a little honey.

If I really feel hungry – not just think I am – a teaspoon of natural peanut butter with a small square of dark chocolate takes care of the protein + sweet I crave at that time of night. Toast with a little butter and preserves will do too.