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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown

Janet Aylott

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant


Need help with late night snacking!

I'm hoping you can help give me some advice? I think my main problem is boredom in the evenings – sitting in front of the TV and letting my mind wander onto snacks!! I really need to get up and do something useful instead. Any tips!?


Our expert says...

Hi there,

Thanks for your question.

It's a common issue to have - many of us tend to head towards the fridge or snack cupboard of an evening when sat in front of the telly. And it really is a habit more than anything. But there are certainly things you can try to help break the habit or reduce the desire to snack in the evenings. I've outlined a few of these below:

Variety of food choices

We all tend to be creatures of habit, but often adding a bit of variety to your meals/snacks could prevent boredom. This could be worth a try to see if you feel more satisfied by the time the evening comes, so less likely to snack. Things to try:

1. Perhaps try a different breakfast such as scrambled egg on toast, a vegetable omelette or granola with low fat yogurt and fruit for example. Lunch could be soup or a large salad and dinner could be a salmon/chicken or beef stir fry with lots of veg and wholegrain rice, or chicken and vegetable pasta for example.

2. You could also try having a larger breakfast, and then delaying the times at which you have your other meals/snacks. You could then eat your supper much later while watching T.V. to keep you satisfied. This will ensure you're evening foods are still within your allowance.

Save day time snacks until the evening

You could try saving your usual daytime snacks and have these at the end of the day while watching T.V. instead. So in place of what you would normally have as extras.

Or try planning in some treat foods into your allowance. I can see you do really well with what you add to your diary - not having anything particularly 'naughty' very often. So I wonder if you feel you're missing out a little, so tend to crave things like biscuits/crisps in the evening? (I'm just guessing here as I'm not sure what you are snacking on!). But if this is the case, maybe make some room for a treat at the end of each day in your allowance. You can then enjoy this while you watch T.V. without any of the guilt, or feeling like you've fallen off the wagon.

Distract yourself

Try using the if/then technique to distract yourself and ensure you do something else instead of snacking. Filling your time with activities rather than food will help your mood, your weight loss and also break the habit of eating when you're not hungry.

This is how it works - if you feel bored, you decide in advance exactly what you are going to do - for example "If I'm bored, then I'll call a friend I've been meaning to catch up with".

It's that simple! But it can be so effective to have the alternative to snacking, pre-planned, so you don't have the conflict in your mind when cravings strike.

If you fancy giving it a try, here are some ideas of things to do to counter boredom - but it's best to devise your own list if you can!


  • Take a relaxing bath or shower
  • Take the dog for a walk
  • Walk briskly around your neighbourhood
  • Do an exercise DVD
  • Book an online grocery delivery and plan your week's meals
  • Read a book or magazine
  • Write an email you've been meaning to do
  • Phone a friend you've been meaning to meet up with
  • Clear out a cupboard or drawer you've been putting off

I hope this helps to give you some ideas of things to try. See how you get on over the coming weeks and don't hesitate to come back to me if you need a few more ideas!

Best wishes


Nutracheck Nutritionist

You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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