10 Easy Ways to Stop Late Night Snacking For Good!
You eat healthy, nutrient rich meals all day long only to find yourself munching on junk food late at night. So what gives? Cravings happen to the best of us but it’s important that you get ahead of your cravings and curb your midnight snacking, especially if you want to lose weight. Eating late at night can lead to weight gain because your body tends to store those extra calories as fat instead of burning them off like it does during the day. So instead of spoiling your healthy eating plan with late night snacking, try these 10 easy ideas to help you curb those late night cravings!
The problem: You might think you’re eating well but a diet full of only fruits and vegetables isn’t going to be enough to keep you full day and night. Your body needs protein and eating late at night could be an indication that you’re just not getting enough.
The solution: Make sure you’re getting enough protein throughout the day, especially with your last meal of the day. Add more protein rich foods to your meals, like edamame or other beans as this could reduce your cravings and help curb your appetite at night.
The problem: You’ve skipped breakfast…again! Either you’re finding it difficult to make breakfast in the morning or you’re just not hungry enough to eat. Whatever the reason, not eating breakfast can make you more likely to snack on foods high in fat and sugar.
The solution: If you really want those nighttime cravings to stop, the best thing you can do is make sure you have breakfast in the morning. And not just any breakfast will do either – it needs to be a complete breakfast with a good serving of protein and carbs.
3. Evening peppermint tea ritual
Curbing your midnight cravings could be as simple as having a cup of peppermint tea every night! A study in the journal Appetite found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours were not as hungry throughout the day as those who didn’t sniff it. It seems as though the scent of peppermint serves as a distraction from your feelings of hunger and may help curb any false cravings. So try adding a cup of peppermint tea as part of your bedtime routine – it might just help keep your cravings at bay!
The problem: You just can’t seem to get enough sleep these days. And as a result, your body’s response is to trigger pangs of hunger. So the later you stay up, the more likely your body is to produce the hormone that triggers hunger. And of course, the more tired you are, the more likely you are to make poor eating choices.
The solution: Less sleep = more hunger so make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night, at least 6-8 hours. You’ll have more energy and you’ll be less likely to reach for that bag of chips or candy bar late at night.
The problem: You’re too busy with work, kids and other commitments to make healthy, satisfying meals.
The solution: Plan your meals at least a week in advance so that you’re less likely to eat impulsively and more likely to make good food choices. Make Sundays your meal planning day and plan what you’re going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week – write it down so that you won’t forget or be tempted to stray.
The problem: Stress! Day to day life has you stressed and as a result, you’re eating even when you aren’t hungry – especially at night.
The solution: Relax! Take some time each night to relax both your body and your mind. Doing so can help you de-stress and potentially reduce those midnight cravings. Try relaxing activities like breathing exercises, meditation, hot baths, yoga, gentle exercise or some light stretching.
The problem: Whether you want it there or not, somehow there’s junk food in your house, making it an easy temptation.
The solution: Make sure your pantry and fridge are filled with healthy fruits, vegetables and other foods that you enjoy. Don’t start buying healthy food that you just aren’t into – you won’t even reach for it when you get hungry. If junk food isn’t easily accessible then you’ll be less likely to eat it, especially at night when those cravings are at their peak!
8. The 3-hour rule
The problem: You’re not getting enough calories throughout the day so by nighttime you’re starving. Limiting your calories won’t necessarily lead to weight loss - it could make you more likely to binge eat at night instead.
The solution: Make sure you’re following the 3-hour rule by eating every two to three hours – from breakfast to dinner, with snacks in between. This way you’ll feel full throughout the day instead of feeling starved by nightfall.
Adjust your dinner time so that it lands about 2 hours before bedtime. This way you’ll have the necessary 1-2 hours needed to digest your meal and you won’t be ready for more food until morning. And remember, eat a meal full of protein, vegetables and good carbohydrates to keep you full and satisfied.
Always eat healthy throughout the day but don’t be too strict. Allow yourself that piece of chocolate or cookie every once in a while. Depriving yourself of your favorite treats will only lead to binge eating later on. A cookie or piece of dark chocolate won’t derail your healthy eating plans – just make sure you stick to just one!
Late night cravings happen to the best of us every now and again – so don’t beat yourself up if you find your hand in a bag of chips after dinner. The key to weight loss is to make sure it doesn’t happen that often and to make sure you’re eating healthy, good for you meals all the time. Keep these 10 quick and easy tips handy and you’ll be sure to stop your late night snacking for good!
And remember, if weight loss is your goal, then a good workout routine is also key to your success. Pick an activity you enjoy and try to get active at least 3 times a week. As with any new workout routine, you need to make sure you have everything you need to get your sweat on. Proper clothing is key, especially a good high impact sports bra, like Shefit's Ultimate Sports Bra, a pair of fitted pants or crops and a tank top or t-shirt that allows you to move as much as you need. Working out, paired with healthy eating habits will help move your weight loss journey along – you’ll be reaching your goals in no time!