After a full day of eating healthy, how can I avoid overwhelming cravings in the evenings?

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I go to LA fitness about 5 times a week. I usually do elliptical since I am not able to run due to a tendon problem. My eating is fairly good.
For breakfast, I usually go with oatmeal or cereal, and maybe an apple before lunch. I then have a light lunch, a snack around 3 p.m., then I go work out and after that I am so hungry.
My main problem is dinner.
I know I’m not eating as good as I could for dinner. I usually eat dinners like, chicken, a frozen meal, sometimes noodles, a sandwich, or something like that. But then after that I almost cannot control what I eat! I go for cereal because it is my weakness, and then I want sweets or popcorn or something like junk foodie.
I really need help maybe with other food options that are healthier or tips to tell myself not to eat the bad foods! I’m not sure this is how I need to address this issue, but I used to have issues with my eating and I have really tried to clean it up. I feel pretty successful except for dinner! Any advice would definitely be appreciated! Thank you!! – Meredith G.



Your appetite in the evening is simply chasing the energy deficit you’ve created all day.
Stop playing catch-up! It sounds like your appetite surges in response to when your blood sugar has dropped from under-eating and then exercising. Your body knows that carbohydrates (cereal, sweets) fix this problem, so that is why you crave it. You can read more about cravings in a full-length Living Healthy Blog article by CLICKING HERE – Preventing the Diet Killer…Insatiable Cravings!  

Start with a bigger breakfast by adding a couple of eggs. Then, pair your morning apple with an ounce of nuts or cheese. Make your lunch substantial enough to carry you to a 4 p.m. snack.

For DINNER – Add vegetables and perhaps a glass of milk. All this may sound like adding calories, but don’t be fooled—it’s only rearranging the excess amount you’d otherwise be eating in the evening.

All told, shifting more healthy calories earlier in the day saves you from craving dessert or junk after dinner.

You may also want to check out our article on how to Fuel Your Workouts for more effective training and supporting exercise. – Debbie J., MS, RD

Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition?

Ask our dietitian by submitting your question to or simply ask it in the COMMENTS section below. To learn how to follow the “Ask Our Dietitian” Q&A CLICK HERE!

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.


Posted on January 20, 2014, in Ask Our Dietitian, Health, Helpful, Nutrition, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I have a similar issue, so you’re not along! I found drinking a lot of water during the day to help and at night after dinner, I have a small cup of Greek yogurt with a touch of honey in it. It lets me give into that sweet craving and finish off my eating for the night. Debbie, is this a healthy dessert to finish off with? What other sweets could you recommend?

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      If it satisfies you, then it’s a good choice. We are talking dessert here, not late night snacks. For healthy sweets, opt for something fruit or dairy based versus flour — you’re bound to get more fiber or protein along with the sugar. A pudding works. Fig newtons are good. Berries w/ marscapone cream are decadent. A few slices of frozen chocolate covered banana and a spoonful of nuts is rich.

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