Do you struggle with late night cravings? Here are some tips to stop those nighttime cravings!
Do you often find yourself opening the fridge and pantry late at night, looking for a snack? Is your late night snacking sabotaging your weight loss?
You may have heard that eating at nighttime is bad for you – that everything you eat turns to fat. I’m here to tell you, that just isn’t true! Sure, our metabolism slows at night, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat after dinner if you are TRULY hungry. I’ve been eating a snack around 7:30PM for the past 6 years and it hasn’t affected my weight loss goals. However, it’s important to determine whether you actually need that snack or not. Are you really hungry or are you just satisfying a craving?
If you find that your snacking is sabotaging your weight loss, try these 5 strategies:
Investigate Your Hunger
Are you really truly hungry, or is it just in your head? Often, the culprit is boredom, habit, or an emotional trigger. I find when I watch a certain TV show, I will get a certain craving! Perhaps the last time I watched that show, I was eating some popcorn, and now my brain associates that TV show with popcorn! But I know I don’t need it. I often tell my Drop a Dress Size challengers to write down how they were feeling during that moment. Were they stressed? Bored? Sad about something? This allows you to address the underlying mood-food connection. Then, I get them to come up with a list of distractions to use when a craving hits. Examples include putting dishes away, texting a friend, playing with your kids, or brushing your teeth. So the next time a craving hits, have that list ready!
Drink Some Tea
After a long, tiring day, it’s very common to seek out a reward in the form of a late-night snack. I find that making myself a hot cup of herbal tea helps calm my mind and fill my tummy. There are so many flavours of tea to choose from these days, even ones that taste like chocolate! And some of them might even help you sleep. Sleepy time tea is one of my favourites!
Consume More Protein
The reason you may feel hungry in the evening is because you didn’t feed your body enough during the day or you trained your muscles hard that they need more fuel to recover. This doesn’t mean you should be eating a high-calorie meal to compensate. What I like to do is have some protein in the form of casein. Casein is an easy-to-digest milk protein that has several health benefits. It can boost metabolism and help you tackle those morning workouts with more energy. I drink the Beachbody Performance Recharge every night (about 1-1/2 hours before bed.) It gives me 20g of protein for just 100 calories. I’ll often add in some fruit like frozen cherries or applesauce too for a quick, healthy nighttime snack that keeps me full! Another option would be 2 scrambled eggs or 1/2 cup of cottage cheese.
You may be wondering why I’ve said to “eat dessert!!!” There are some days when I finish dinner and for some reason, I’m craving sweets! I’m not saying to go and eat some pie or cake..what I am saying is if you crave sugar after dinner, then follow it up with a low-calorie sweet treat like 10 frozen grapes or chia pudding. This will help prevent you from binging later on. I like to chew a piece of gum after dinner to help ward off any cravings. Here are some more healthy suggestions.
Eat a Small Portion of a High Quality Snack
I understand we are not perfect! It’s okay to give into the occasional craving now and then. But try to limit your snack to 150 calories, and make it count! So instead of munching on a cheap candy bar from the supermarket, enjoy 2 squares of good quality dark chocolate. The strong chocolate taste will satisfy your sweet tooth rather than making it worse.
Do you have any late night craving tips? I would love to hear how you stop your late night cravings!