October 03, 2008

Q: What can I eat when I’m hungry late at night but have already consumed everything my diet allows for the day?

A: If it happens only once in a while, it’s OK to indulge with a low-calorie snack, even if you’re at your daily diet max. Sip a small glass of vegetable or tomato juice, both of which are thick enough to offer a sense of fullness. Another option: an 8-ounce glass of skim milk. It’s light and filling (thanks to the protein content), but has more calories than veggie juice, so give in only when you’re extra hungry.

If you regularly go to bed feeling famished, it’s a sign you need to redistribute your calories during the day so you eat more at night. To fit in a before-bedtime snack that will curb cravings, cut out some simple extras from the rest of your day (like that third handful of nuts). Bottom line: Keep your nighttime nosh less than 100 calories, and you won’t have to worry about derailing your diet.


Julie Upton, MS, RD, is a media resource for the American Dietetic Association.

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