11 Feb Five Tips to Stop Nighttime Snacking
Do you eat well all day, drink enough water, get in your steps to then ‘blow it’ at night in front of the TV? Late-night snacking can be a habit that is hard to break. Remember, we only have a limited amount of willpower each day. That’s why the evenings tend to be the hardest time to resist the snacks and sweets.
Your body goes on autopilot and you mindlessly walk into the kitchen at the same time every night and grab something to snack on. Let’s talk about five ways you can change this habit once and for all.
Add variety to your meals
Often, we crave foods in the evening because your body is craving nutrients. If you eat different, colorful whole foods throughout the day, your body will feel fueled. Include protein, healthy fat and fiber in each meal and snack and you will be more satiated and less likely to overeat after hours.
Add fiber to each meal
Fiber is a critical nutrient to keep your digestive system running smoothly and to keep you satisfied. Bean, lentils, fruits – like raspberries and avocados, vegetables – like broccoli, artichokes and cauliflower, nuts, and seeds are excellent fiber sources. For women, you should aim to eat 25 grams of fiber per day. The average American gets around 8-10 grams of fiber each day. So, if this is you, increase your fiber slowly, to avoid feeling bloated and potentially constipated in the short term.
Get good rest every night
If you stay up too late and don’t get enough sleep, it can cause an imbalance in your metabolism and set off your hunger hormones. This means, you think you are hungry, when you are just tired. If you want to keep snacking even after you’ve eaten a well-balanced dinner, that might be the sign that it’s time to turn in for the night. Establishing a nightly wind-down routine is a great way to ensure you are getting enough sleep each night and to keep those night-time food cravings at bay.
Don’t eat in front of the TV
When you’re engrossed in a Netflix series, it’s easy to keep shoveling food by the handful into your mouth. When you don’t eat mindfully, you often don’t notice when you’re satisfied until you’re stuffed. If you choose to have a snack while watching TV, portion it out beforehand so there’s no guilt afterwards.
Add healthy snacks
If you find you always are hungry around 3 or 4 pm, think about what you had at your previous meal. It’s possible you didn’t eat enough or you’ve had more physical or mental exertion which has left you hungry. The first thing is to ask yourself: Am I physically hungry? Or, is there an emotion – such as frustration, boredom, loneliness, sadness, fatigue – that is leading me to find comfort in food? Sometimes, we mistake thirst with hunger. Start with a glass of water and wait 10-15 minutes. If you still feel hungry, choose a snack that has protein, healthy fat and fiber which will keep you satiated until your next meal. If you’d like some ideas of simple, healthy and delicious snacks to have after dinner, click here for your free eBook: The Guilt Free Snack Guide including 40+ easy and satisfying snacks!