We have all been there, an entire day goes by and we have been good about eating healthy foods until night hits. Dinner is over, the kitchen is cleaned up and there is a small voice inside of your head telling you to go to the freezer and grab that pint of Ben & Jerry’s, or that candy in the pantry is calling your name louder than ever before. We usually succumb to the pressure of these cravings, due to the fact that we were “good all day” but this does not make us feel any better after the fact. If anything, it makes us feel like we have blown the whole day after dinner. Nighttime snacking is a pain for everyone, but be prepared for those cravings to pop up. If you have a snack that is ready to go after dinner before those cravings hit you will naturally grab that snack when you need a little pick me up before bedtime. No one likes to go to bed hungry.
Identify The Cause
I used to eat dinner too early, which caused major hunger later in the evening. If you are eating at 5:00pm, try eating at 6:30 or 7:00pm. This will give your body enough time to digest before going to bed, and it will keep away some of the nasty cravings late into the evening. Be sure to eat protein at every meal if you can, because this fills you up and sustains you much longer than any other food group out there.
The sooner you get to bed, the less time you will be awake thinking about your late night snack. The less sleep you get, the more it will mess with your hormones and brain communication with your stomach. There is a hormone called leptin that can be affected, which in turn doesn’t signal to your brain that you are hungry which then causes you to overeat. People who are sleep deprived will naturally be hungrier, so watch out for this!
Finally, make sure to turn off the TV if you are going to pick up a snack. Eating mindlessly in front of the television has been linked to overeating. If you are feeling hungry, try and grab a low calorie snack and call it good without watching an entire movie in the process.
Many times people eat out of boredom, which means they were not truly hungry in the first place. Analyze your situation and get a light snack if you feel your stomach rumbling. Once you get that snack, shut down the kitchen for the night and wind down for bed. The more sleep you get the better your hormones will function when it comes to weight loss. It also will have you going to bed satisfied and full from the snack you just ate. By snacking smart you will eliminate the bad foods from your diet, and you will feel better the next day because of those choices.