Combating The Late Night Cravings

How to Win the Battle Against Midnight Munchies


Don’t mind that noise. That’s just the growl of an angry stomach as it expresses its frustration as we begin the fight of the fat loss’ number one enemy. As the thoughts switch from the monsters under my bed to raiding the kitchen to devour anything and everything within the war zone.

The late night cravings take over my every thought. In that moment, my entire existence depends on feeding this growling stomach and satisfying the hunger set deep within my belly. 

You know those damn midnight munchies. They always come on strong once the words “caloric deficit” hit the eardrums. Like an army ready for battle, we will need some serious strategies to combat these late night cravings…

But then you remember that little something that awaits your arrival in the kitchen. For the life of you, you cannot just get rid of the temptation that lies behind the cupboard’s doors. Even thought your dinner was delicious and your macro targets were direct hits, the cravings become irresistible.

And that something wasn't just anything. It was God's gift to the human taste buds while on a weight cut. In our opinion, it may just be the best damn creation in the kitchens of the physique oriented. I needed that crunchy yet smooth texture to put the finishing touches on another day and soothe my soul to sleep.

Just give me the ALMOND BUTTER already!!!

There on the top shelf, the most perfect nut butter awaited my arrival. My excitement grew like a young, horny teenager finally losing his V-card as I reached up to grab the freshly bought jar. Then tragedy struck like pre-mature ejaculation.

 Someone had already broken into my jar. Very sad in it’s own right…but the real problem laid in their mistake of leaving the lid opened the slightest bit. Unknowingly, the almond butter came crashing down. Time froze as I watched the glass container in slow motion hit the counter and smash into a hundred jagged pieces.

As I fought back tears and finally pulled myself together to investigate the disaster, I searched desperately for hope. There had to be a single section of this almond butter that was not affected by the broken glass! Sadly, I was left with NOTHING; not even a dime sized taste of the nutty goodness...

Tears may or may not have filled my eyes that night. We're going to leave that detail out of this story. Just revisiting the tragedy is painful enough.

The worst part of this entire story is not that fact that I had to clean up the mess of this almond butter catastrophe at 1 o'clock in the morning. Even though that was a nice finishing touch.

My late night craving went unanswered. Maybe after all it was a sign from the physique gods, but the Heaven's above can't be that cruel.

AFTERMATH:

We're on a mission to ensure another tragic event doesn't happen ever again like this. So here's the breakdown of our strategies in combating or at least reducing the possibility of another late night snack gone wrong.

First things first. Let’s set something straight. Peanut butter is one of my obsessions. It's been love at first site since my first PB&J in pre-school.

Deceptively, peanuts are not actually nuts. They are in fact legumes. Cool story bro, but why does that matter?

We never demonize any specific foods or macronutrients (besides soy) here at Sons of Strength. However, we do want to increase awareness. Legumes can be very difficult for some to digest and cause food sensitivities. This is due to legumes containing lectins, which are the protein components of certain foods that are resistant to human digestion. 

Basically, lectins are a plants' line of defense against pests and insects. We suffer from that defense mechanism with possible digestive complaints and the build up of inflammation in the body.

With that said, you should limit the amount of peanut butter and other lectin-containing foods such as soybeans, beans, other legumes, and wheat. If it’s one of your favorite foods like mine, just become aware of how you feel (energy, digestion, etc.) after you consume peanuts and try alternating with a similar source, like…

ALMOND BUTTER TO THE RESCUE.

That's where almond butter comes to the rescue! Almonds are a great source of healthy fats without the digestive disruption. Like peanut butter, it’s just as dangerous, especially when your fat targets are set low. Honestly, we cannot get enough of the damn stuff. Actually to the point, where we could starting considering ourselves almond butter connoisseurs. At least aficionados.

With that said, let's discuss the storage of your nut butter to prevent any crash and clean ups. For the stir required versions, be sure to give it a good mix then store it upside down. Yes, storing it lid side down will prevent the oils from rising to the top. And we're pretty sure you'll have to keep the lid on tight this time too!

*We love and highly recommend throwing it in the fridge.

Now that we have proper storage procedures out of the way, let's get into some strategies that will be the greatest prevention against your own almond butter catastrophe. As a big plus, your body composition will improve with each passing night.

AVOIDING THE LATE NIGHT SNACK.

On those nights where you are tempting to binge and go off on your diet, here are some approaches to win your fight, avoid the unscheduled cheat meal, and stay on your path to that lean and mean body.

Follow these strategies to stay away from the cheats like this HALF POUND peanut butter cup! 

Follow these strategies to stay away from the cheats like this half pound peanut butter cup!

Worth every calorie, tbh.

 

  • CALLING ALL CARBS.

This might go against everything you've ever heard from your favorite fitness “guru” , but we recommend eating big at night and saving your delicious carbohydrates with your last meal of the day. 

Save your fights for things in your control. It is human behavior to indulge at night. Meals are more than just fuel for your body. Our culture has made the meal, especially dinner, a social event. We don’t blame you for desiring and potentially indulge in sub-optimal (think high sugar, high refined fat) food choices at night time. It’s our natural inclination as humans to do so.

After a hard day’s work, dinner is a perfect opportunity to reward yourself with a good, satisfying meal to relax and recover. Don't get us wrong, it should be in line with your macros targets and include quality protein, vegetables, and the remainder of your carbohydrate intake like rice, quinoa, root vegetables or froyooo. 

When you are tired and fatigued, your body and brain will naturally crave carbs and sugar. By reducing the amount of carbohydrates during the day, you won’t have to muster up the willpower to fight the cravings after you’ve worked 8 to 12 hour days and your motivation is depleted. Instead, you can indulge in the carbs of your choice within your macro targets.

Making the desire for more carbs after your dinner. Most likely resulting in a caloric surplus and moving you further away from your body composition goals.

The consumption of the carbohydrates will allow for optimal serotonin release and in return, induce sleep. Just be sure to finish up dinner 2 to 3 hours before you hit the sack to allow blood sugar levels to come back down.

Talk about a win in this fat loss war. Satisfy your taste buds with carbs at dinner. Stop your cravings. Sleep even better, beauty.

  • SHIFT & SAVE.

Do not set yourself up for failure. If cravings are sabotaging your waistline, you must not rely solely on your willpower. This next strategy will give you a fighting chance against the late night cheats by taking your mind out of the equation.

Your first move will be to shift your calories towards the back end of the day. This goes hand in hand with the first strategy of saving your carbohydrates. Now, you can shift your calories by pushing off your first meal of the day. This can be done through a meal timing plan like intermittent fasting or just by having breakfast an hour or two later than normal.

Next, you will want to restrict your overall calories throughout the day. By restricting your calories more so through the day than at night, you will have more wiggle room for a larger dinner to combat the cravings and/or account for the unexpected cheat and increase in calories that come with it. 

This little adjustment is an ideal way to build in preventative measures and overcome these tendencies.

  • HAVE A LITTLE TEA PARTY.

Start breaking your habits of late night snacks by replacing those irresistible treats with lower calorie replacements. Create a new routine that will get your mind off those cravings that will not fit in your macros.

It could be easy as drinking a soothing, stimulant free tea like a chamomile blend. This is an effective way to relax your mind and body into a state to release melatonin and get a good nights' sleep. Tea is one of our go-to moves to aid your body into a’ “rest and digest” state.

If teas not your thing, you can go with an activity like binge-watching some Netflix (and chill), reading a fiction book, painting, writing, or meditating.

  •  LOCK THE DOOR AND THROW AWAY THE KEY.

This warrior strategy comes right from Ryan during his weight cuts to enter the ring and compete in Muay Thai… at 25 to 30 pounds less than his walking around weight. 

It’s not easy. But if it were easy, everyone would do it and everyone would look damn good.

Ready for it?...

Just lock your damn hungry self in your bedroom! Go to bed. Put padlocks on your fridge doors if you have too. After dinner, just get ready for bed and sleep to fight another day.

Sometimes you need to give yourself some tough love. Guess what? If you’re on a fat loss diet, you are going to be hungry at moments. Unfortunately, it’s something you’re going to have to get used to.

  • FILL THE TANK.

When you're full, there's a better chance that you're not going to stuff your face into a food coma. Sometimes this fails epically and leaves you with an upper stomach that resembles that of a pregnant woman. But we'll take the odds in this one.

Some foods are more naturally fulfilling than others. Coming from an Italian family, we personally opt for meals that are higher in volume. When in a fat loss phase where calories are in a deficit, the ideal foods are ones that are low in calories, high in nutrient density, and provide a lot of actual food. Kinda like Family Style.

These food choices are typically higher in fiber and water content. This will help by increasing your satiety and slowing down digestion.

Some of our favorite choices are vegetables (all of them and as much as you'd like), fruits (especially watermelon which is 92% water), popcorn (skip the added butter and salt if it doesn't fit in your macro allotment), and higher fat foods.

  • ALMOND BUTTER PROTEIN BITES

Sons of Strength always has you covered. Since we just mentioned that higher fat content will keep you feeling fuller longer, here's a recipe if you just cannot kick the craving. This one is physique friendly and won't count as your weekly cheat. Well, as long as you keep them in moderation and within your macros. Just be sure to only save it in those times of dire need. Pinky promise? OK, here you go, just watch out for any falling almond butter jars!

This simple yet satisfyingly delicious recipe is meant to be shared. Don't keep it a secret. Let's just say this is an awesome treat that has less than 5 ingredients, adds more important protein to your diet, AND includes almond butter. Cha-ching!

Ingredients:

1 Jar of Almond Butter (We personally LOVE LOVE LOVE the brand Justin's. You have to try their different varieties including maple and honey!)

2 Scoops of your favorite Protein Powder

2 TBSP of Non-GMO lecithin (this will help emulsify it)

1/3 cup of raw honey

Directions:

Simply mix all these ingredients in a bowl. Then make into your size of choice balls. Throw in the fridge and then indulge!

SOS <3 Justin's (in case you haven't already figured that out...)

SOS (in case you haven't already figured that out...)

THERE YOU HAVE IT, THE PERFECT ENDING TO A CATASTROPHE. DO YOU HAVE AN AWESOME STORY THAT YOU LEARNED FROM? ANY DIET or TRAINING MISHAPS THAT MADE YOU BETTER? SHARE IT BELOW ALONG WITH ANY SECRET ALMOND BUTTER RECIPES!