Tip: How to Fight Late-Night Cravings

Having a TV-induced craving? Don't suffer needlessly, but don't blow your diet either. Here's what to eat.

About to wreck your diet or give in to a late-night indulgence? Drink a protein shake and eat low caloric density foods before giving in.

Step 1

Start with a lower-carb, filling protein shake. When you're hungry, a protein shake can usually hit the spot and satisfy the hunger.

Step 2

If it doesn't, then it's time to move on to the next option: lower caloric density foods. My two favorites are baby carrots and popcorn. I'm talking about buying the raw popcorn kernels and popping them yourself. Just 3 tablespoons of uncooked popcorn kernels provides 120 calories, and when cooked gives you about 7 cups worth of food. However, to keep the calories at 120 you'll need to air pop it and not cook it in oil. There are a couple ways to do it that shouldn't take too long.

Baby carrots are another low caloric density option. A 3-ounce serving of baby carrots is 35 calories. A normal-sized bag usually has about 5 servings. So you can eat 5 servings and still only consume 175 calories. And I haven't met a single person who has eaten anywhere close to a whole bag of carrots. So you'll eat maybe a serving or two and then probably start feeling full.

Step 3

After eating protein and low caloric density foods, if you still want to eat other food then you'll most likely eat significantly less than you would have had you not pre-gamed your trash food with protein and veg.

Follow this method to eliminate or reduce poor food choices. This method is especially helpful for late night snackers. And remember you don't have to choose carrots or popcorn; there are numerous options. Just make sure to stick to the order:

  1. Protein
  2. Low caloric density food
  3. Other food
Shawn Wayland studied exercise science and human performance in an academic setting. He is a nationally ranked cyclist, with hands-on experience in strength and endurance training. Shawn is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, located in Southern California. Follow Shawn Wayland on Facebook