Most people can manage eating healthy throughout the day with well rounded meals and snacks; however, it’s after dinner when the “snacking bug” hits and will power is put to the test. Giving in to late night cravings can be diet sabotage preventing weight loss and possibly causing weight gain.
Here are some tips on how to curb late night cravings:
1. Drink a few cups of water or hot decaffeinated herbal tea. Drinking water or hot liquid will give you the feeling of being full and possibly prevent the desire to snack.
2. When you have finished eating for the night brush your teeth and then you won’t want to eat anything because you have to go through the process of brushing your teeth again before bed. Also foods just don’t taste the same or as good after brushing your teeth.
3. Keep junk food and unhealthy snacks out of sight. This might be difficult if you have children, but the concept of out of sight out of mind is usually helpful to curb the desire to eat junk late at night.
4. Always eat 3 square meals per day and 2 healthy snacks and try to consume all of your calories before 6 or 7pm. Many people do not eat enough during the day leading to late night hunger and unhealthy snacking.
5. Keep yourself occupied with a hobby or tasks around the house. Sitting on the couch watching all those commercials for fast food and decadent desserts will not be your friend when trying to avoid late night snacking.
Stick to these tips and once you get out of the habit of late night snacking, the body will no longer crave sweets or junk food late at night. This is like quitting smoking, stick to it and cravings will decrease the longer your resist temptation. Always ask yourself “am I hungry?” Normally the answer will be “no”. If you are not hungry why are you eating? Think about that next time you are headed to the kitchen for a late night snack.
If hunger pains are keeping you awake at night try these healthy snacks that will help you sleep and leave you waking up in the morning still feeling guilt-free. Try low calorie snacks like air popped popcorn, yogurt, cottage cheese, whole-grain cereal with non-fat milk, or a handful of nuts or seeds.
Michelle Roots BA Kin, CSCS, PES