What's your favorite evening snack?

Emma SheffertEmma Sheffert Member, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin
Hi All!
I needed some extra help with a client today who is a big snacker in the evenings. She will get done with dinner and always feel like she needs something to finish out her night before going to bed. Before she knows it, she's had 2-3 different snacks. Our goal was to limit those down to 1 per evening and she prefers something salty. While I suggested something on the lighter side like home-popped popcorn or veggies with dip, I am sure that you all have other ideas I haven't thought of. So, what are some of your favorite (preferably lower calorie) snacks for when you need something more after dinner? In my apartment, it's always popcorn  :p 
Thanks in advance for the suggestions!

-Emma

Comments

  • Chris EarlyChris Early Member, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin
    My new salty snack are pretzel Shells, much like @Zach Ottman you still need to limit the portion size of them.  I don't know why I just thought of this, but my dad used to put salt on cucumbers   :p I thought it was gross, but if that is what got him to eat cucumbers. 
    This isn't a salty snack, but it is one that I like. Cut up some red/ orange sweet peppers and mix them with cut up cucumbers. Add a little bit of light italian dressing. Super good and VERY filling. 
  • Sawyer Paull-BairdSawyer Paull-Baird Administrator, Moderator, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin
    edited October 2019
    Lightly salted almonds are a go-to for me.

    I also am a fan of lightly salted veggies as Chris mentioned (cucumbers and baby carrots are solid).

    That said, if someone is still very hungry after a meal, it may be worth also looking to the composition of their meals throughout the day to determine why they may still be hungry.  Increasing overall protein and vegetable intake (especially at dinner, but also throughout the day) could result in more satiety, and less need for a before-bed snack.  I suppose this depends on the time they eat dinner, and the time they go to bed.  If you eat dinner at 6pm and go to bed at 11pm, then being hungry before bed makes perfect sense to me.  However if you're still hungry right after a meal, or within an hour or two of a meal, I would look to the composition of that meal, along with the meals throughout the day. 

    Lastly, a good tip I've used with clients before if "over" snacking is an issue, is to portion out the amount you're going to eat ahead of time.  Using almonds as an example. Instead of eating from a bag, portion out how much you want to eat ahead of time, and stick to that.  Eating from a bag in general can promote "mindless" eating and make it easier to overeat.

    So, I know I went off course from the question a bit, but that's where my mind went when reading this. =)

    Disclaimer- Much of this is written with the assumption that the client is looking to control their calorie intake. If that's not the case, the advice may change a bit.

    Sawyer Paull-Baird BS CSCS ACSM-EP PN-Lvl1
    Agent of Change / Fitness Innovation & Education Coordinator
  • Mike StackMike Stack Member, Administrator, Moderator, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin
    I tend to find the best evening snacks for me are veggies. If you get the client to pre-cut (very important) the veggies ahead of time and have them ready (like Sawyer was mentioning above with regard to other snacks) I think that can be an easy snack item. I tend to find if someone is going to try veggies as a snack having variety is important. I think just one or two veggies is difficult to get excited about, however having multiple different kinds someone can snack on is great.

    Going a step further, from a metabolic health perspective, I like the idea of protein in the evening. Looking at circadian biology and the role of blood sugar regulation and health the research seems to be going in the direction of smaller excursions in blood sugar after 7pm is better for markers of cellular health. Not to get too overly scientific here, but there is a big movement towards limiting carbs and calories later in the day to diminish increases in blood sugar to improve metabolic health. This is where I think protein fits in. If there was a way to have some protein sources to snack on (cut up chicken or even beef/turkey jerky or something along those lines) that would tend to favor a better metabolic response. Vegetables would work well also, just because they cause very small changes in blood sugar.

    At the end of the day whatever you choose has to be palatable to the client so they'll eat it (or none of this matters). Keeping that in in mind, I think the other suggestions made above do make a lot of sense. Maybe it's a matter of combining a number of these suggestions together (half serving of pretzels with a serving of veggies or something like that).
    The last point I'll make with evening snacking is that sometimes it's not evening about being hungry, it's about being bored. The client is just eating b/c they have nothing to do. In this case, Emma, you could dig deeper and see if a replacement activity could be used to "distract" the client from thinking he/she needs to eat something. There is certainly a limitless of distraction activities that could be done, so you can brainstorm those with the client.

    Thanks for posting up on to the forum about this! It's great to see we're already getting engagement like this. Thanks to everyone who is participating in this discussion! Keep them coming.

    Michael E. Stack, BS CFP CSCS*D CPS
    AGENT OF CHANGE, CEO, & Exercise Physiologist

  • Jared FreemanJared Freeman Member, Moderator, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin
    If I want something sweet I enjoy protein/fruit smoothies (add water instead of milk if you want to save calories). You can get a HUGE smoothie for under 200 calories. 

    If I am craving salty I usually go with popcorn.

    If I am having a chocolate/peanut butter craving I  go with rice cakes and a very thin veneer of creamy peanut butter on top. 

    Unflavored Greek yogurt with sugar-free cheesecake jello powder and fresh fruit can be quite delicious as well! 

    Jared Freeman BS CPT CSCS

    Agent of Change / Managing Partner 


  • Corinne AlbrechtCorinne Albrecht Member, AFS Staff Rank ✭8✭
    I have no sweet tooth but a HUGE...salt...tooth? too  :lol: so salty cucumbers are a big fav. I also really like olives or pickles! One totally weird adjustment I've made is actually using raw broccoli instead of chips with certain dips. I dip broccoli in hummus or salsa; it gives me the crunch I'm looking for, but it's a lot harder to mindlessly shovel into my mouth for hours hahaha Any taste the broccoli would've had is overshadowed by the salsa (or hummus) so it really ends up being no different sensation-wise than your typical chips n dip. 
  • Beth ManoogianBeth Manoogian Member Rank ✭7✭

    When I need a salty snack in the evening my go-to is also usually popcorn. Some other salty snacks to perhaps consider are roasted chickpeas - lots of great recipes out there for both sweet and savory options, or roasted pumpkin seeds (especially appropriate this time of year)! You'll get a little bit of protein and fiber with these options as well. Here are some ideas:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BfCakDOnhYN/

    https://www.skinnytaste.com/roasted-chickpea-snack-2-pts/

    https://www.skinnytaste.com/smoky-bbq-spiced-pumpkin-seeds/

    But, if we're being honest here, if I’m REALLY trying to avoid eating at night altogether, I just brush my teeth or chew a piece of gum. Once my mouth is all minty fresh, I don’t feel like ruining that by eating more!

  • Heather  QuinlanHeather Quinlan Member, Inward Journey Meditation Group Member Rank ✭7✭
    My new salty snack are pretzel Shells, much like @Zach Ottman you still need to limit the portion size of them.  I don't know why I just thought of this, but my dad used to put salt on cucumbers   :p I thought it was gross, but if that is what got him to eat cucumbers. 
    This isn't a salty snack, but it is one that I like. Cut up some red/ orange sweet peppers and mix them with cut up cucumbers. Add a little bit of light italian dressing. Super good and VERY filling. 
    I have so many memories of sitting at the kitchen table at my Grandma and Grandpa's house, watching my Grandma put salt on her cucumber slices! I used to think "what in the world"... but then as I got older I kinda got it!  Looking back, I think my Gram might have put a tad too much salt on her cucumbers lol... but she ate her cucumbers faithfully!  That's a great idea about the light Italian dressing with cucumbers and peppers.  I might give that a go! 
  • Jessica RiceJessica Rice Member Rank ✭5✭

    I love popcorn too, but am not really impressed with the taste of homemade unless I dump a ton of butter and salt on it. I like Skinny Pop (especially white cheddar), and Boom Chicka Pop (lt. kettle corn) best. Both do not contain the the potentially cancer causing chemical diacetyl, found in many microwave pops.

    I also love Pop Chips (barbecue or cheddar flavor). I have to portion control these, or I will easily eat the whole bag.

  • Corinne AlbrechtCorinne Albrecht Member, AFS Staff Rank ✭8✭

    @Sarah Bonner baked oatmeal??? I'm sure it is exactly what it sounds like but I'm curious ahaha Like...literally just baked oats?

  • Sarah BonnerSarah Bonner Member Rank ✭5✭
    edited November 2019

    @Corinne Albrecht it is way more fancy than that! The main ingredient is oatmeal, it also has some applesauce, honey, a little whole wheat flour and eggs. Here is the recipe I use! Sometimes I add a little olive oil to keep it moist. If you add some protein powder to it, it would be even better!



  • Chris FirlikChris Firlik Member Rank ✭4✭

    My sister just introduced me to Bada Bean Bada Boom! They’re crunchy, seasoned broad beans (sometimes known as fava beans) in flavors like sweet sriracha, garlic and onion, sea salt, cocoa dusted, and more. The seasoning is heavy enough that it would likely easily satisfy a salty craving in a relatively small amount. They have a LOT of flavor.

  • Corinne AlbrechtCorinne Albrecht Member, AFS Staff Rank ✭8✭

    @Sarah Bonner oh my goodness, those look/sound AMAZING. will be trying this weekend for sure 😍

  • Emma SheffertEmma Sheffert Member, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin

    @Sarah Bonner You are reading my mind!! I was just talking about making some homemade granola bars and those look perfect! So excited to give them a try :)

  • Emma SheffertEmma Sheffert Member, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin

    @Chris Firlik My mouth is watering just reading that! Those sounds delicious and like a perfect salty snack. Thanks for sharing!

  • Eileen  McNallyEileen McNally Member, Administrator, Moderator, Practitioner, AFS Staff admin

    My fav evening snack is some greek yogurt with PB2 mixed in with it and some berries and most likely some dark chocolate on the side :)

    Eileen McNally BS, CPT, RYT 

    AGENT OF CHANGE

    Applied Fitness Solutions Rochester Hills

  • Angela JohnsonAngela Johnson Member Rank ✭6✭

    @Emma Sheffert Mine is a sugar free popsicle. Jury is still out as to if that's sufficient as a snack 0:-)

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