How to Eat Late-Night without Completely Ruining Your Diet

The nemesis of all diets. The ultimate “don’t” of all health advisories. The biggest no-no for weight loss and the adversary against falling asleep: late-night eating. But, hey, you’re in college. And you stay up really, really late.

Eating in the wee hours of the night (or morning, rather) is pretty much inevitable here. Whether studying endlessly, hanging out with friends or heading back home after a party, you’re bound to get hungry if you haven’t eaten since dinner. So, we say, don’t let your stomach rumble! Eat, for goodness’ sake. Just make the right choices.

It may seem like your only late-night options in downtown State College are cheesy, greasy and probably contain more calories than everything else you ate earlier that day combined. While that’s the truth for the overwhelming majority of options, have no fear; here are some guilt-free options open late and just waiting for you to find them.

Craving Chinese? Uncle Chen’s (430 E. Calder Way) has an entire “healthy food” section on the menu. Steamed chicken, shrimp and veggies are nothing to feel shameful about. And with a light sauce on the side, they’re quite the delicacy (and even edible during the day, too). Ask to substitute brown rice for white rice, and you’ve ordered yourself a healthier late-night indulgence.

Next up: “Fresh Thinking. Healthy Eating.” Well, that’s Pita Pit’s motto (218 E. Calder Way). And this gem is open until 3 a.m. and delivers until 2:30. The entire menu is comprised of fresh produce on your choice of wheat or white pita. If your sweet tooth is kicking in, try one of its fruit and fro-yo smoothies instead.

Even the chains in town have begun to hop on the healthy-food bandwagon. Taco Bell (310 E. College Ave.) offers its Drive-Thru Diet menu, featuring “fresco” items that skip the cheese and are made from healthier ingredients (including meats with 25 percent less fess fat).

And if you have an infatuation with Jimmy John’s subs, think about cutting out the extra carbs and ordering any of its sandwiches as a JJ Unwich — on a lettuce wrap instead of bread. You’ll still fill up on the protein and veggies without feeling the remorse of bread overload.

Above all, stock up your fridge and pantry with healthy foods. If you’re a late-night scavenger, you can’t mindlessly munch on junk if it’s simply not there. But do be sure to have something around for you to eat, so you don’t end up calling the only late-night, oil-packed place in town and ordering some fried food for delivery. You’ll feel better about those Wheat Thins and hummus or Greek yogurt (pictured) with berries that were already in your kitchen than most late-night delivery options. Plan ahead — you’ll never have to wake up thinking, “Why did I eat that?!” again.

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