Conquering Late-Night Snack Cravings Using The MetPro Method

Anybody who has ever tried to lose weight has dealt with late-night snack cravings. Hear from an experienced coach as to some strategies to have victory.

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Crystal OKeefe: Welcome to the MetPro Method Podcast. I’m your host, Crystal O’Keefe. Today I am joined by MetPro Coach Ryan Padilla, and we are going to be discussing late-night snack cravings. Ryan, thank you so much for being here today.

Ryan Padilla: Yeah, it’s my pleasure. This is one of my favorite topics for clients. I’m looking forward to it.

Crystal OKeefe: Well, I’m looking forward to it too. It’s one of my favorite topics for me. I feel like everybody who has ever tried to lose weight has dealt with this at some time or another or even not losing weight but just trying to change body composition because at some point you need to be so incredibly disciplined and it’s tough.

It’s really tough. Why is this one of your favorite topics?

Ryan Padilla: Yeah. Well, and to be honest, it was one of, and it still is one of my habits that I had to be consciously aware of. A lot of clients will ask me all the time, well, Ryan, what do you do? Especially with eating and with late-night cravings, because it’s so common, especially with my past as a competitor in bodybuilding, they just assume that I’m a perfect person, but I’m not, I’m than.

And I am very much a foodie. And so I have to be highly alert on this. And so, some of these tips that we’re going to talk through today are things that I very much use every day. And so it’s one of my favorite topics with clients because I just love to help them understand that even though it’s been something that you have struggled with or continue to do, we can actually learn how to have a lot of control over it.

Crystal OKeefe: I love hearing that. Okay. So, let’s say you just started off with a new meal plan. You had dinner a couple of hours ago. Now you’re watching a movie and you’re craving some popcorn. What do you do?

Ryan Padilla: Yes. And I love this question because it’s so literal and it’s so common, especially like being entertained at home, right? We sit down, we are, regardless of the night of the week, we’re unwinding. And the common habit is either alcohol or sweets. Right. What I try to do is think of this instead of a direct answer more proactively so for clients here is really trusting your meal plan, knowing if we back up and we start the day and we’ve been on plan and we’re being intentional with our meals.

We have to trust the fact that when we do sit down for something, and if we are intuitive and we are mindful, it’s like, I’m actually not that hungry, or maybe this craving isn’t as strong as it used to be. And so leaning into the fact that the plan set up for you should help with your cravings, it should help with the urge to want sweets and gravitate towards those.

So just from a proactive, before we get into actual tips and examples, thinking just proactive with these habits and with these cravings should help quite a bit.

Crystal OKeefe: That makes a lot of sense. I mean, you’re absolutely right. If you’re using MetPro, whether you’re concierge or using the app, you’re eating four to five times a day at least, and you’re able to break it out over, break out your calories over small amounts and it should be filling. It should be keeping your blood sugar even, which helps with cravings and should be keeping things smooth.

So sometimes this is a psychological craving. It’s a habit. I think that’s a really good point. And I think nights are also hard for many people. Sometimes you come from a background of maybe your family always had dessert every night and now if you’re doing something like MetPro, there is none.

Do you have ideas for what people can do to break that habit to be proactive?

Ryan Padilla: Yes. I think being honest and aware with yourself first with maybe one of the things you brought up is like, okay, well, how long have I battled this? Maybe it’s lifelong starting as a child, which is a whole other topic we could send another podcast on is, you know, breaking habits that we really didn’t even know that we had because they were instilled in us before we could really be conscious and make decisions for ourselves with those.

But as far as specific examples to be proactive, I think of, maybe actually jumping to some specific ideas. We talk about the extra meals or the extra, not the meals, I’m sorry, the extra snacks, like in your app. A couple of my favorites would be understanding your lean proteins that we can actually make, sweet or savory or something like that. And so Greek yogurt is one of my favorite go-to’s, unflavored, fat-free, adding in just a zero-calorie sweetener.

And then the magic trick is sugar-free pudding and adding a little bit of mix to that. And so there’s, there’s so many flavors. Chocolate, hazelnut, cheesecake flavor, that’s a nice little sweet pudding mix that I use several times a week just to help my post-dinner cravings.

Crystal OKeefe: Okay. So wait, you use sugar-free pudding. Are you saying you put it in the yogurt or…?

Ryan Padilla: So, you know, with the classic pudding powder mix, right? And so you just sugar free and a little goes a long way. You don’t have to use very much, maybe a tablespoon or two. , and yeah, you just put it with some extra. It depends on your sweetness level. You can add a little bit of extra zero-calorie sweetener directly into the pudding and it’s a game changer.

Crystal OKeefe: You’re blowing my mind right now I never thought of that one. Oh my god. I’m really excited. I can’t wait to try that. That sounds totally up my alley. What else you got?

Ryan Padilla: Yeah. A couple other ones are powdered peanut butter is a pretty, not that nut butters are bad cause they’re certainly not, but we can look at powdered peanut butter and understand. Okay. The process is removing the fats and just creating a powdered version of it and so you can add water to that.

Just a little bit of water and sweetener, unflavored sweet, or excuse me, zero-calorie sweetener. And you’re going to kind of create your own little peanut butter, but it’s drastically less calories. And it has the flavor of peanut butter, just by eliminating the fat. And so you can use that and do celery, if you kind of want that crunchy sweetness.

Or you can take it a step further and you can get like a really low sugar or even sugar-free jelly and then do a rice cake and it’s, that’s going to be very low carb, have that PBJ effect if you will. So that’s another one of my personal go-to’s and then some other things would be. Just no sugar added dry fruit. That’s something that’s low carb that, that can, you know, really be nice.

And then one of the classics as well, which a lot of people actually do, this one that you can lean on, it would be popcorn, but no butter added. You can even add a little bit of salt. And so popcorn is actually not very calorically dense. And so you can have a cup or two and it actually, the carb count is pretty low.

Crystal OKeefe: Okay a question about the dried fruit no sugar added. Now I think that you have to really watch your servings on that. Correct.

Ryan Padilla: Yes.

Crystal OKeefe: Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

Ryan Padilla: Yeah. So we, you’re absolutely correct. And that’s where we, something that isn’t super, well, it’s not lower calorie. These other examples we’ve given it as low calorie. And you could actually look into your app, with some of the fruit, we don’t have dried fruit in there. But, it’s going to be close as far as ratio wise, like a third of a cup of like dried berries or something, where you can look, actually look at your apple servings for like dried apples and know how many carbs you’re having.

But the point would be having a very moderate serving of that is going to keep you in a much better position than going to some of your old habitual late-night routines with sweets.

Crystal OKeefe: You know, that’s a really great point. It took me a long time, and I know this is obvious, but it took me a really long time to figure out, in my own head, that eating something like dried fruit, or yogurt, or things like that, are technically not on plan, right? Like they’re on, you can eat them, they’re on plan, but they’re extras for the day.

But that is better than having ice cream or having like a little Debbie snack or something like that. It’s so much better that even if it’s quote-unquote an extra, it’s such a much better quality extra that, you need to give yourself some grace sometimes to be able to enjoy that.

Ryan Padilla: Yeah, yeah, without a doubt. And that’s something that I would love for clients to grasp early on. We can easily get caught up in trying to be perfect and putting the pressure on ourselves or having the all-or-nothing mindset. It can lead to so much of got to be on plan, got to be on plan. I’m having these cravings and I’m fighting them so much.

And that can eventually lead to throwing your hands up in the air at times. And that can really lead to a lot of other struggles with being consistent on your plan. And so that’s a good point. Crystal of understanding, not all calories are created equal. And sometimes a choice that’s less, I guess we’ll call it catastrophic if you will, is going to be much more helpful for you long term because if we’re thinking long term and lifestyle change, having something like the yogurt example over three scoops of ice cream, you’d be surprised of how filling and rewarding that kind of is in filling that gap for you.

And then it’s not going to have as much of an impact on you in a negative way as something like ice cream.

Crystal OKeefe: Well, after you brought up the pudding, now I have in my head what I want to try. I don’t know. Maybe you’ve tried this. You tell me, try taking the flavor from the pudding in the yogurt with a little bit of sweetener and then freezing it to make an ice cream-type thing. I think that could be might have to do that this weekend.

Ryan Padilla: That’s where I would need to lean on your patience because when my cravings hit, I’m not a patient guy. Which is actually another good point, is having these things around, right? You got to be proactive and understand that when these things come up, it can be tough to be patient.

And so if these things aren’t available to you, how can you make better choices anyways, right?

Crystal OKeefe: Yeah.

Ryan Padilla: So being prepared, not only with your day of eating in general, with your plan, but being prepared for, knowing that, hey, I struggle with these habits or I struggle with these cravings. Being prepared with it for it is going to be important.

Crystal OKeefe: I totally agree with that. So if I’m hearing you correctly, if you know yourself, and you know that you’re going to have that craving at eight o’clock, 10 o’clock at night, be prepared with something on hand all the time. That’s healthier. It’s a healthier choice.

Ryan Padilla: Yes, absolutely.

Crystal OKeefe: So, do you feel like there’s an overall type of strategy that you should have for late-night snack cravings other than just being prepared?

Is there some other way that you should approach, okay, I’m gonna do it this way? I’m going to eat this amount. I’m only going to have it once a week. I don’t know. I’m just coming up with questions.

Ryan Padilla: Yeah. I’ll answer that question with a more generalized answer. So, if I were talking to a client and it’s Ryan, I struggle with this definitely Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, but also maybe two other nights a week.

So we’re looking at, you know, five times a week we’re struggling and maybe we had terrible habits with this before coming in and trying to make a change for yourself.

I see the first step is let’s just look to reduce it. But I mean, you’d be so surprised if we like, okay, well, let’s just eliminate the workdays for now, and let’s see how that goes. Or let’s look to, change half of the times we do eat, ice cream and we just look at some of these changes we’ve talked about today.

So it all just comes down to, let’s just lower the frequency at which, we give into these cravings or have these indulgences, if you will. But, even before that, it goes back to the early point we made with trusting your meal plan and really just. My biggest piece of advice would be to not skip your meals or snacks.

And this is something else we mentioned about being prepared, right? If we’re prepared and we’re not missing our meals and not missing our snacks, we’re going to be in an incredible position come that 6 to 10 p. m. window.

Crystal OKeefe: Yeah, that’s a great point. You skip a snack, you skip dinner, it’s going to be so much harder to make good choices because blood sugar’s talking, your brain is talking, the glucose in your brain is like, hey, I need more. It’s not going to be making good decisions at that point.

Ryan Padilla: Yes. I always say it’s one thing to be tempted when it comes to food. And if we’re a disciplined person or working on our discipline, we can handle that. But if we are tempted and hungry, that’s a whole nother battle.

Crystal OKeefe: Yes, and I really like your point about being prepared because, if you’re having one of these cravings, and you already have something in the fridge that you can go to, even if you have in your head, oh, I want some ice cream, you go get some yogurt and you put some of that pudding in there, that’s going to taste good enough that you’re going to enjoy it.

You’re going to enjoy it, and you’re going to feel really good about it. And then the next time you’re craving, you’re going to remember I made that choice. And it was actually a really good choice.

Ryan Padilla: Absolutely. There’s power in getting those easy wins. And just to piggyback off of your point, Crystal, it’s another just tidbit that I do like to share is to not, especially if you’re in the midst of having big challenges with this topic, don’t just go into that all-or-nothing.Don’t be afraid to tell yourself that it’s still an option to have the ice cream, meaning, I’m gonna have the yogurt first, and if you have the yogurt and you give yourself a few minutes and you still want the ice cream, like, do it.

And I’m confident in giving that advice because the majority of the time people feel better and they don’t want it anyways.

Crystal OKeefe: You’re absolutely right. Yeah, and it can be tempting at that moment to be like, well, if I’m going to have both, I might as well go straight for the ice cream.

Ryan Padilla: Yes, yes, sure, sure.

Crystal OKeefe: But if you have the yogurt first, you’re going to feel better. And even if you do end up having some ice cream, you’ll probably have less than you would have had before.

Ryan Padilla: Yes, yes. And this is all just in the realm of progress and making steps to ultimately change the habits that we’re trying to change.

Crystal OKeefe: Yeah. I love that. What about different macro types? We’ve got protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Is there one or one of those three that’s better for late-night snack cravings or are they all created equal?

Ryan Padilla: Yeah, well, they’re not, but that’s actually a good thing because it can help us make choices to our advantage. That’s what we do as coaches for all of our awesome clients is, is know where to put them in the most advantageous position. And so for anybody knowing when I am hungry or having cravings, this is going to be more helpful for me.

And that would start with the protein macronutrient. It’s going to be the most difficult for your body to digest. That’s why a high protein diet, well, one of the reasons, it’s very useful in changing our body composition and helping us lose body fat, and helping boost our metabolism because it’s actually hard for our body to digest.

And so for late-night cravings, a protein can act and it actually has protein powder, yogurt, even nut butter, nuts, and it’s actually a pretty well-versed, and useful macronutrient. So there’s a lot of things we can do with it and it’s hard for our body to digest and it’s going to keep you full longer.

And so that’s one of the ones I would lean to first. The second one would probably be fats just because. They’re filling, they’re very filling. And a lot of your fast can be compound fats where they actually have protein and fats together. The classic one is like almond butter or something and then I would put carbohydrates third just because they’re very easy to eat and they’re the most, one of the most tempting macronutrients. And it’s obviously sugar is a carbohydrate and it’s going to spike our blood sugar the quickest and anytime we are spiking our blood sugar, we have the potential opportunity, to store body fat easier as well.

Crystal OKeefe: What a great reminder. Yeah. Okay, so those are excellent points. Do you have some suggestions for our audience for people who tend to fall into different craving categories? You’re either a salty, crunchy person, or you’re a chocolate sweets person. That’s me. Or maybe you cycle between those two.

Do you have some ideas for both of those categories?

Ryan Padilla:Yeah, certainly because I have zero, I love any and all the above. And so there’s people ask me, and I’m like, I like them both at the same time. Like, what are you talking about? Yeah. And so for me, I will lean on something like the yogurt. And I will, I’ll get that together. I’ll do the yogurt with the sugar-free pudding mix, a little bit of sweetener.

And then I’ll take, maybe just a slight. Serving of almonds and I’ll just crunch them up and I’ll just, maybe half a serving of almonds and I’ll crunch those up and that’ll be my topping. So that’s one of the ones, right? Or, you know, the popcorn we talked about and make it a little salty.

And so I would lean on some of those earlier ones we looked at, but off the top of my head, maybe an additional one would probably be using like a protein powder as well. And the great thing about protein powders is you can actually just use some water and make it more into a pudding rather than a drink.

And then you can take that and add something salty to it like another, in a very reasonable portion size would be something like a salty pretzel. And you can take like your protein powder pudding, quote-unquote, and then throw a few crushed pretzels on there. And there’s something fun that I literally just made up in real-time for you.

Crystal OKeefe: Love it. What a great idea. Chocolate-covered pretzels. I love it.

Ryan Padilla: Yeah.

Crystal OKeefe: I have to try that. Okay. I have to try all of these. I will say one of my favorite now, this is from the MetPro website, our recipe site, but one that is my go-to a lot on weekends, especially during the summertime. I don’t know if you’ve tried that. This is called the faux frosty.

And you take your protein powder, and you take a little bit of almond milk, but a little less than a cup. You take, and it’s chocolate protein powder, by the way. You add in two tablespoons of peanut butter, and then you put in some ice, and you blend it all up, and it tastes… Like a shake, like a chocolate shake. It is so freaking good.

Ryan Padilla: I love that so much. That’s a great idea. And that could, earlier you mentioned freezing some of these recipes or putting them overnight or just kind of preparing them and freezing them for a few minutes. And that would be another one that would be great kind of making ice cream so to speak.

Crystal OKeefe: Yeah, yeah, lots of good ideas here. I’m getting very inspired.

Ryan Padilla: Yes. And very hungry.

Crystal OKeefe: Yeah, it’s time for your snack, Ryan. Well, is there anything we’ve missed that you want to make sure people know?

Ryan Padilla: Yeah. I think the great part about this topic is, we can really put it under just a big umbrella of, you know, obviously the habit realm in knowing, like, just because this is something to whatever degree that you’ve struggled with for however long, approaching a lifestyle change, like, this is still something that can exist in your life.

It’s just, we got to look at it from a different lens, and in time, no matter how much power this feels like it has over you in time, this is something that you’ll learn to master because we don’t know what we don’t know. And leaning into your resources, your coach, something like this podcast, and being patient with yourself and knowing that over time, you’re going to be able to, create things that you can use to your advantage, even if it was such a strong crutch for you for so long.

Crystal OKeefe: What a great point. Yeah, it doesn’t have to be something that has a hold over you forever.

Ryan Padilla: Yeah, absolutely. And it doesn’t mean that in order for you to change your life, you have to completely eradicate this. We just got to look at it from a different lens.

Crystal OKeefe: Ah, very wise, very wise. Well, Ryan, thank you so much for your time today. Listeners, that’s all for this week. You can find all the MetPro Method episodes anywhere you get podcasts or you can go to metpro. co/podcast. Please be sure to follow the show and rate and review. That lets other people know what they can expect from the show.

You can also learn more about MetPro@metpro. com. I’m your host, Crystal O’Keefe, and I will be back next week. Until then, remember, consistency is key.

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