Perhaps the hardest time of day to avoid mindless snacking is the hour or so between arriving home from work (or school) and putting dinner on the table. The ‘witching hour’, as it were.
If I’ve been asked for suggestions once as to how to control the after-work munchies, I’ve been asked a thousand times.
My usual response? Grab an apple and some nuts. Nibble on some carrots and peppers. Sip a protein shake.
While these solutions work for me, many of my clients need alternatives that will work for them. So I asked some of my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors to share their tips and tricks to control the after-work munchies. (Thanks so much guys for your help; I’ll definitely be putting some of these suggestions to work myself!)
Here’s what they had to say!
- …eat three snacks instead of a lunch and a snack. I eat a larger snack at 12,2, and 4. Breaking it up and eating every 2 hours really helps ~ Sara from The Paper Jellyfish
- …get up and walk around the office, house, block etc for five mins or do 5 mins of squats/crunches/pushups etc. Often times once they finish that they aren’t so “hungry’ for junk food. also, plan ahead w healthy snacks like almonds, fruit, etc. And big one: are you really hungry, or thirsty? Hydrate all day, often! ~ Shannon from badassfitness (love her blog name!)
- …have some kind of tea or a handful of nuts to hold you over ~ Christy from ChocolateCoveredDiamonds (what’s not to like about that?)
- …use a crock pot/slow cooker as much as possible. Have dinner ready. If you’re hungry, eat ~ Kerri from FitViews
- …have an apple or carrots in the car on the way home so that when you get home you’re not starving ~ Jen from suchafunnyfat
- I work til 530 and usually have a greek yogurt around 5pm and. That keeps me from eating my arm before dinner at 730 ~ Liana from RunToMunch
- I always have a baggie of almonds with me to snack on to ward off binging on junk. Mini protein bars are another staple, especially on long days ~ Angela from solesisterontherun
- …More times than not I’m not really hungry after I get home from work and before dinner but I almost always [think] I need to eat. It’s more like a want! The only thing that has worked for me is to have a physical activity on my workout schedule for that time of day. My kids are usually doing homework and it’s too early to start dinner so I’m not taking away from family time. The key is to schedule something that is simple and not too time consuming. Maybe my 15 minute stretch routine or 25 minutes of yoga. And of course, there is always my beloved plank-a-day. 95% of the time it works like a charm. I can’t think of a single time my snack cravings continued afterward ~ Jill from jillconyers.com
- …have a small snack of fresh fruit – like a small apple and then to drink a large glass of water. That usually keeps me going during that time of day. I’d suggest going for a walk, but I’m thinking that people arriving home from work don’t then have time to head out for a walk. I also chew gum, sometimes that gets the juices flowing and also makes me think twice before grabbing a mindless snack ~ Carrie from familyfitnessfood
- This worked well! Basically I packed myself a snack and then stayed AWAY from the kitchen! There were a few times where I would head to the cabinet and I stopped myself and asked if I was really hungry. More times than not I wasn’t! ~ Nancy from littlefancynancy
- I am a mini meal eater so I am eating every 2-3 hours anyway. I think a portion control of nuts – eat one at a time & chew all the way & that will take time. OR I sometimes have low sodium, no nitrate turkey slices & you can add a little salsa or homemade guac to them…. ~ Jody from Truth2BeingFit
- This is always my challenging part of the day, for sure! I try to grab some almonds or some dates. Both are pretty filling and
offer good nutrition and help me stay on track! ~ Amanda from MissZippy
Nancy also sent me the link to a post she wrote recently about the very same topic! Finding Food Habits. Go and have a look at how she’s been dealing with mindless eating and the after-work munchies!
Did you find something on this list that might help YOU?
Or other ideas that you’d like to share with ME?
Your comments make my day!
P.S. Two weeks ago I did an interview with a newspaper reporter. The topic was ‘pre- and post-workout nutrition’. One of the other trainers interviewed talked about mindless eating and late afternoon snacking. ‘Solving the exercise and food riddle’.