ask our dietitian your question todaylow fat popcorn healthy late night snack


I eat a 200 calorie breakfast at 9 a.m., a 500-600 calorie lunch between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., a 300 calorie evening snack between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and then a 500-600 calorie dinner between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. I go to bed pretty late, around 1 a.m. 

I usually work out in the evenings.

The problem is I feel very hungry at night just before sleeping and end up eating junk food like popcorn, candy. I have tried substituting with milk sometimes. What food do you recommend for a late-night snack at 12 a.m. or 1 a.m.? –Pancham P.



I like your meal timing, given your wake/sleep routine. There are late night snack options, but I must say that shifting those extra calories to breakfast may help prevent the midnight munchies to begin with. Two hundred calories is hardly a meal to start your day! Sounds like you target carbohydrates in the evening, so I’m guessing that’s what you should add to your breakfast. If, for whatever reason, that’s not an option, you might try to make your evening snack more of an amp up meal that precedes your workout.


I’ve said before “You don’t want hunger to disrupt your slumber.” A snack is a fine alternative to increasing your dinner, and often times a glass of milk may be enough, or even try a bowl of light cereal.


Stick to easily digested starches that promote serotonin levels and help sooth you off to sleep.


Examples are:

Graham crackers, pretzels, Goldfish crackers, white bread, bananas and applesauce.  Midnight munchables can include popcorn; opt for a 1 ounce individual portion of the low-fat variety if you microwave it, or use 2-3 Tablespoons of kernels if you air pop.


– Debbie J., MS, RD

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Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.



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