Hi Friends! This post was originally posted in 2015, but I’ve been getting a ton of questions on this lately so I thought I would reshare it today with some updates! Enjoy!
How I Stopped Snacking At Night & You Can Too
Over the years I’ve gone through times where late night snacking has been a problem. Just like anyone else I struggled with the stress of the day and by the time I got home at night I found my self, face-first in bowls of cereal or spoonfuls of peanut butter. Luckily I’ve reined it in using these simple techniques that I often teach my one on one nutrition clients as well.
Resolve to have an overnight fast.
There is TONS of controversy on how long we should “fast overnight.” I tried to “quit” eating and snacking after work but it wasn’t till I resolved (basically told myself to toughen up) to have an overnight fast of 12 hours I was really able to stick with it.
I liked that amount of time because I wake up feeling hungry but not ravenous. Many of my clients struggle with not being hungry in the morning. This is usually because they are eating really late night at night, so I tell them to move their last meal earlier and earlier until they feel hungry in the morning.
Brush Your Teeth.
Amidattely this doesn’t always work, sometimes I have to brush my teeth twice.
Most people, myself included like the way a freshly brushed mouth feels and don’t want to ruin it. This was probably the number one thing that helped me.
Avoid Trigger Behaviors (aka TV etc…).
TV is sometimes a trigger for me like it is many people to go get a snack. I try to blog or read at night (on a real book so the blue light won’t inhibit my sleep exposure) because I’m less likely to want to go get a snack.
Avoid Eating With Distractions
In pregnancy, I feel like mindless night time snacking is something that’s been hard for me to rein in during pregnancy. However, I found that if I just make it a rule that I don’t eat in front of the TV I do a lot better.
This is part of an intuitive eating series I teach all my clients. Remove all distractions when eating anything. This is regardless if it’s a snack or a meal. This will help your brain to register the fact that you are eating and make you pay closer attention to how full you are.
Drink Relaxing Tea
Drinking calming tea not only fills your tummy with hot comforting liquid but the whole act is also de-stressing and calming. I really like Trader Joe’s relaxing tea. My MIL drinks hot water, a trick she got from her friend. Whatever works as long as it’s relaxing and comforting to you.
Eat Balanced Meals
Really this goes for the whole day. The more balanced your meals are the more you will fill satisfied all day. If you are not eating enough throughout the day, or if your meals are not balanced (aka missing healthy fats, veggies, protein, or enough carbs) you will binge at night to compensate.
After the first week my What to Eat? Meal Plan subscribers often tell me how surprised they are that their night time cravings for sugar totally disappeared! It’s pretty awesome! (You can get a free week here.)
Meditation doesn’t have to be full on Yoga programming or 30 minutes in pure bliss (although those things are great.) Even just 5 minutes a day of deep breathing has been correlated with reduced late night snacking. Try programming short periods of meditation into your day, such as before you get out of your car to go to work or after work before you head home.
Get Enough Sleep
I aim for 8-9 hours, especially when I’ve got a long day the next day. The more tired you are, the more cravings you will have, especially for sugar! Getting enough rest decreases stress levels and reduces your drive to munch!
Refuel From Your Workout
I make sure I take Amino Acid’s before my workouts and protein plus carb within one hour, so my body doesn’t feel starved or over stressed.
Have Something Healthy
If you are TRULY hungry, like stomach rumbling hungry then screw the fast, you should eat. However, what you eat is important. Before you dive head first into a bag of chips or jar of peanut butter, stop and think. There are some foods that are shown to actually promote a better night sleep and improve muscle repair.
Examples of these foods are:
- Cottage Cheese
Aim to get a healthy dose of protein and fat if you are starving (like if you can’t fall asleep) and need a late night snack!
More nutrition hot topics:
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Do you snack at night? Do you avoid it? Have you tried any of these tricks????