The Midnight Snack 30% Of People Have Trouble Staying Away From

It's probably not a big surprise that late in the evening, most people turn to sweet and salty indulgences for midnight snacks. In fact, a recent Health Digest survey found that nearly 30 percent of people admit to heading straight to the freezer for ice cream as their midnight snack of choice — followed closely by potato chips.

Both of these carb- and fat-heavy options make sense as midnight snacks: Feeling hungry at night leads us to crave high-calorie snacks, which is why ice cream tops the list, followed by chips. 

"There are many complex reasons why people snack late at night," Suzanne Jezek-Arriaga, a nutrition and holistic health coach, told the Huffington Post. "Sometimes it's because of boredom, or your body could not be getting enough nutrition [during the day]." If you've skimped on protein throughout the day, Jezek-Arriaga notes you're even more likely to feel hunger pangs at night.

What can we do to prevent midnight cravings?

While the occasional ice cream in the evening isn't bad, the urge or craving to snack in the evening shouldn't be a daily occurrence. Our bodies tend to crave these ultra-indulgent treats as it gets later in the evening thanks in large part to our evolutionary make up. Heart surgeon A. Marc Gillinov, M.D., told the Cleveland Clinic that our bodies may naturally want these high calorie snacks because years ago, we wouldn't have known when our next meal would come, so eating some vegetables with hummus is much less appealing than a big bowl of ice cream (via the Cleveland Clinic).

If you are craving chips or ice cream, consider a smaller snack — under 200 calories — that helps curb that craving. Things like a banana with a small amount of almond butter or a protein-based smoothie (especially when blended with ice for a chilly treat) can offer an ice cream-like experience. For chip lovers, pumpkin seeds or edamame may offer that salty, crunchy taste you're looking for (via Healthline).