What to eat at night without packing on the kilos

What to eat at night without getting fat

By Andrea Michelle

I’m sitting here in my PJ’s tap, tap tapping away on a deadline, and boy do I have a hunger. It’s 10.29pm, and despite having a well-rounded dinner with the kids at 6.30, I’m starving.

Over the last few hours, in a bid to satiate my hunger, I’ve consumed the following: 1 mini bag of unsalted popcorn, 2 carrot sticks, 3 rice crackers, and 4 Hershey Kisses. But I’m still hungry. I feel like The Hungry Caterpillar in that kids’ book, albeit in a black nightie.

You can tell by my list of food that I’ve scoffed, I am trying to be healthy about what I’m shoving in to my gob right now. Only thing is, I’ve run out of options and ideas, and am about to reach for what I call the ‘kid’s bribe box’ which is filled with Caramello Koala chocolates, Tiny Teddy biscuits, various Scooby Doo branded snacks, and a couple of PEZ.

Which makes me wonder:

What’s a girl to do when she’s got that late night hunger that can’t be satiated, but doesn’t want to stack on the kgs?”


So I turned to my buddy, nutritionist Savannah Daisley from The Wellness Factory for advice.


Why am I still wanting to snack after I’ve had a well-rounded dinner?

“A lot of our food today is loaded with sugar. Mainly in the form of processed foods which you find in the Supermarket aisle.

If you’re eating sugar and processed carbohydrates with dinner or dessert, such as white flour, bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, pastries – and just about anything in a packet that’s not from a health food shop – it’ll disrupt your blood sugar levels making you more and more hungry. So it’s best to avoid these types of foods with your evening meal.”


So what should I be eating so I don’t get those late-night munchies?

“Protein (eggs, fish, chicken, grass-fed meat) and good fats (healthy cold-pressed oils, avocados, nuts and seed, deep sea fish) along with vegetables and low GI fruit. These will balance your blood sugar levels, keep insulin low, and in turn will suppress your appetite as it’ll make you feel full for longer. So you’ll stop running to the fridge for those late night snacks.”


Ok, but if I’m still hungry later at night, what should I consume?

“Firstly, avoid anything with sugar in it, or white flour based snacks like crackers. Our bodies aren’t designed to metabolize refined sugar, and if you are consuming it in late night snacks, something else undesirable happens too: your pancreas will secrete extra insulin (which is a fat-storing hormone) and that excess sugar will be turned into extra fat cells. Put plainly, you’ll increase your body fat.

Instead, choose healthy low GI snacks that are straight from the land, such as protein, fruit and vegetables – there’s a million delicious choices out there!”


Sav’s 7 favourite late-night snacks

Try these fast tasty low GI snacks that’ll fill you up, keep your blood sugar levels balanced, and help to keep you trim:


  • Sugar-free yogurt with low GI berries
  • Celery or carrot sticks with peanut butter or hummus
  • Nori sheets with avocado, tomato, wasabi and tamari
  • Turkey rolls with avocado sprouts and some rocket
  • A quick salad with avocado, lemon juice and olive oil
  • Tomato with basil, olive oil and bocconcini
  • Smoked salmon or ocean trout with dill, low-fat sour cream, lemon and capers


What’s your favourite (healthy) late night snack?

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  • Anna Franklin

    Great post. Best thing I ever did was quit sugar. I kind of knew I’d have to at some stage as both my parents are now diabetic but it just felt really scary and if I’m being honest, I didn’t think I could do it. I’ve been off sugar now for about 18 months and lost loads of weight. One of the best things is that I’m not ripping the cupboards apart after the kids are in bed looking for sweet things. I just don’t crave it anymore. I’ve bought myself some really nice teas and they’re my alone time treat now.

    • FoxInFlats

      Good on you Anna! Well done. xA

  • Alli @ ducks on the dam

    Mmmm yes. Love the suggestions of the nori sheet. Some good ideas for snacks but I am concerned about the line “anything in a packet that is not from a health food shop”. Just saying….. but health food shops still sell “junk food” and we still need to check the labels and decide accordingly.

    • FoxInFlats

      Good point Ali. I’ve seen a bunch of stuff there that I think “Mmmm? maybe not so healthy?” But I think you get her drift. xA

  • Louise

    a couple of squares of lindt chocolate. I know sugar is bad and all that. But just a few squares stop me wanting anything else. Apparently dark chocolate has health benefits.

    • FoxInFlats

      That’s what they say!

  • Great post! I’m a late night snacker because I stay up so late. I’ll have a piece of grainy toast or yogurt if I’m desperate!

    • FoxInFlats

      Yeah me too.

  • It’s been difficult, but I’ve managed to kick the post-dinner-chocolate-biscuit habit. I transitioned using Carman’s dark chocolate, almond and cranberry muesli bars. I’m now thinking a piece of grainy toast with organic peanut butter could be a good option.

    • FoxInFlats

      Good on you! But I reckon (according to Sav) ditching the carbs is prob a good idea. xA

      • Tota Lee Busee

        wonder about the overly-sugary apples… I should just eat the almonds raw and skip the fruit or use berries?? maybe protein berry almond butter smoothie is smarter??

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  • If I eat dinner too early i get this too. I definitely go the greek yoghurt and berries route OR warm unsweetened almond milk with cinnamon is very satiating or if I really have a swee tooth I try to do a chia pudding with some mashed pear or apple, cinnamon, chia seeds & almond milk . Desserty without being carby!)

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I’m not really a snacker at night but sometimes have strawberries or a couple of pieces of dark chocolate.

  • Tota Lee Busee

    I love her suggestions! Lately I’ve just been sending myself to bed when I get hungry again, but when I do big hours writing, I eat cherry tomatoes and hummus OR apples and almond butter… but last night I ate my lunch- leftover grilled balsamic green veggies. cause once I start on the ice cream it’s all downhill!! Thanks for keeping us Foxy, A! X

  • megan

    nutritionist suggesting peanut butter and low fat yoghurt? peanuts are toxic and low fat dairy is not much better. sorry but you just lost all credibility. A nourishing bowl of one broth….

  • Beth

    Firstly a big, big glass of water. Sometimes (most times) its thirst or boredom or habit.