Tips and tricks to control the after-work munchies

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.

control the after-work munchies

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
  • …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’.


  1. Thanks for all the great tips Tamara!!!
    Toni @runninglovingliving recently posted…McCormick Tour #GenFresh #FitblogginMy Profile

  2. Love the witch picture. The witching hour is horrible for me so thanks for these tips 🙂

  3. Those are all good tips but frankly I control those munchies by giving in and eating a snack. Spoiling dinner is actually not a bad plan as long as I spoil it with something nutritious. Less dinner, no prob.
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted…Health Benefits of Adaptogen Herbs and Supplements: Adapt-tastic!My Profile

    • You are so good! Not everybody has such great self control, especially if they start off with a less than healthy snack option! I agree that having a smaller dinner is fine, as long as it wasn’t preceded by a big dessert!

  4. Great tips… that is the time that always gets me. AND you feel like you are justified in snacking BECAUSE you just worked out… Ah, the worst.
    Pavement Runner recently posted…Which Costume Should I Race In?My Profile

  5. Great tips. yay! thank you for including me!
    Christy recently posted…-Things To Try Thursdays- Freeman’s Avocado Oatmeal Clay MaskMy Profile

    • Thanks for playing Christy! Your blog title intrigues me; heading over to see what it’s all about (I love eating both avocado and oatmeal…)

  6. Thx for sharing & all the great tips!!!! Sometimes I just have to get myself involved in a search on the web or other things away from the kitchen. Searching the web, if you are totally involved – hours just disappear! 😉
    Jody – Fit at 54 recently posted…Weight Loss Help – A Visual; Odds & Ends; PB Recall; Cleaning TipsMy Profile

    • That’s so true Jody! I often get sucked into Facebook before dinner (like right now!) and end up rushed to put dinner on the table on time. No Pinterest for me while cooking though… we’ve had several burned-food accidents lately!

  7. PS: CUTE PIC!
    Jody – Fit at 54 recently posted…Weight Loss Help – A Visual; Odds & Ends; PB Recall; Cleaning TipsMy Profile

  8. Great post!

    I eat everything 3 hours 🙂
    Kierston recently posted…4 Weeks to Competition: 5 Things to Get Done!My Profile

  9. Great tips Tamara! I wonder what it is about this time that makes us want to eat/snack even if we’re not hungry?
    Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness recently posted…Week 2 What’s For Dinner Menu PlanningMy Profile

  10. I ten to snack (eat way to much junk) that time of day too. This post reminded me there are heather snacks (I love almonds and like the Greek yogurt) I don’t work out like should yet envelope I like the idea if a bit o yoga that time of day. Thanks for this post!

    • I agree! It’s all to easy to grab the quick, unhealthy, carb-loaded stuff! Planning is what helps me. And yoga might distract you as well!