Learning Goal: You will learn why late night snacking is detrimental to your health and you will gain 5 simple tips to stop you from late night snacking.
You got home from work around 6:30-7:00. You had yourself a hearty dinner, then plopped down exhausted on the couch to catch up on Orange is the New Black. The clock says it is 10:30 pm, and even though you ate less than 4 hours ago, a voice pops in your head and tells you to “Open the fridge.”
Eating late at night is not good for many reasons. First, many people are more likely to overeat at night, because sleepiness decreases self-control. This will increase your overall calorie count and will result in weight gain.
Secondly, a new study has found that your body burns more fat while you sleep if you give it 12 hours of no additional glycogen (so do not eat from 8 pm – 8 am or 7 pm – 7 am, etc.).
Finally, eating right before you sleep can make it harder for you to actually fall asleep.
Try these 5 easy tips to stop yourself from night time snacking
1. Brush your teeth
Ever brush your teeth and then immediately take a sip of orange juice…disgusting. Having your teeth feel minty fresh and clean with definitely prevent you from eating for at least 15 minutes, and by that time the craving may go away.
2. Drink water
Sometimes we misunderstand what your body is telling us. I know that when I get a headache, I sometimes think I am hungry, when actually I am just thirsty. Try drinking a large cup of water and waiting 5 minutes. A lot of the time that feeling of hunger will subside, plus it is good for you to stay hydrated.
3. Go to sleep
This one is hard for me, but I know it is what is actually best. I often going to sleep, because I feel like I missing out on…well, anything. I think I convince myself I need a snack to further procrastinating sleeping. Chances are I am sleep deprived and I need that extra time to sleep. If you are tired…just go to sleep instead of snacking.
4. Develop a Ritual or New Habit
A lot of the time we want a late night snack because it is a habit that we developed. A lot of people make a mental connection between watching tv or browsing on the internet as the time to also a snack. Reprogram your brain by developing a new ritual.
Try taking a nice hot bath or shower every night, reading a book with a cup of herbal tea (un-caffeinated), or drink a glass of warm milk, which contains tryptophan (a chemical that promotes sleep). Drinking a liquid can help you feel full in addition to providing relaxation.
**Make sure you avoid anything that contains caffeine**
Some people try practicing meditation or mindfulness to help them unwind.
Try this simple video. Explore youtube to find the perfect one for you. Maybe you can develop a stretching routine to help your body feel fulfilled
Writing down your feelings about what you want to eat and why will really help you make the best decision for you. Often when we write things down it helps us realize that we are eating to fulfill a different emotion than hunger. Pinpoint that feeling will not only stop you from overeating but will also help you address the emotion.