10 Ways to Avoid Late Night Snack Cravings
You know the feeling. You have worked so hard all day eating healthy and exercising, only to derail all of your efforts with nighttime snacking! A couple of hours after dinner, you are STARVING and can’t seem to stop reaching for the ice cream and chips. It’s a problem I know all too well, but over the years I have implemented one or more of the following tips with much success. Experiment with one or more and find the one that works for you.
1. Eat enough during the day. If you try to save calories during the day, it may only backfire because you will end up with hunger pains at night. And no one likes to go to bed with a growling stomach! Make sure to eat high quality meals during the day so that you will be satisfied at night.
2. Ditch the “white” flours and processed sugars. Besides not being good for your health, processed white flours and processed sugars can spike insulin levels, which will cause you to feel hungry soon after your last meal. Ever eaten a lot of white rice at dinner only to feel as if you haven’t eaten at all about 30 minutes later? If you have, then you know exactly what I’m taking about. When this would happen to my husband, he would often complain that his dinner “didn’t take!”
3. Have a small portion of what you are craving. If you really want a piece of chocolate after dinner, then buy the best quality you can find and have a little piece. Sometimes that’s all it takes to be satisfied, and it can stop you from ingesting a ton of other empty calories. Just keep it to a small piece, and if you find that you are eating the whole chocolate bar, then try another snack until you find one that will satisfy you for a while.
4. Try having some fresh fruit or a fruit sorbet.
5. Drink a glass of water. Add some lemon juice and a few drops of stevia for a refreshing treat.
6. Brush your teeth. This is a tried and true method of stopping the late night munchies for two reasons; 1) food just doesn’t taste as good after brushing your teeth, and 2) who wants to go through all that trouble of flossing and brushing again before bed? It can make you think twice about having that late night snack.
7. Relax by drinking a cup of tea, reading a book, or listening to a meditation CD.
8. Keep your hands busy: take up knitting, serf the web, or play your favorite video game. Better yet, dust off those old board games and play with a partner or the whole family.
9. Notice your trigger behaviors and change your nightly routine. If you notice that you are eating in front of the TV, then get up and take a walk. Often just a short 10-minute walk can help you to slow down and forget about the food.
10. When all else fails, just go to bed. Maintaining a healthy weight isn’t all about the food. When you are sleep deprived and have low energy you are more likely to reach for that sugary snack. Go to bed early and catch up on those all important ZZZZZZ’s.
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