Do you find yourself endlessly snacking on everything in sight before bedtime? If so, this post is for you!
To determine how to quit raiding your refrigerator at night, you must first figure out why you are attacking your fridge at night. You may think it’s a lack of self-control, but the truth is there are deep-rooted hormonal responses that will win every time against your willpower. So read on to see if any of these situations apply to you!
Not Eating Enough Throughout The Day
If you aren’t eating enough throughout the day, your hormones will respond thinking your body is being starved, and they will drive you to eat at night. Even if you eat a well balanced, healthy dinner the hormonal response will still urge you to go looking for more because it thinks the food is scarce and you are starving. You may be intentionally not eating enough to promote weight loss, or you may be just focused on other things and forgetting to eat. Either way, it’s time to fix it!
The fix: Plan to eat at least three meals per day.
- Research doesn’t show any benefit to eating 6 small meals a day vs. 3 larger meals, whatever works best for you!
- If weight loss is the goal, you want to cut calories from each meal, not skip meals altogether. Our meal plans have 1500-1800 calories because that is how much most women should be eating even if they are trying to lose weight! Slow, gradual weight loss ensures it will STAY OFF.
- If you forget to eat, planning is critical. Our meal plans include meal prep friendly breakfast and lunch options, plus dinner tips to make it easy for you to get prepared and stop the cycle of forgetting to eat.
Not Enough Protein, Healthy Fat, or Carbs
Not eating enough throughout the day is a huge late night snacking culprit. However, if your diet is low in protein, healthy fat, or carbs, this may also drive you to eat at night. If you aren’t eating enough protein or healthy fats throughout the day the hormones that tell your body it’s fully may not be released and you will find yourself late night snacking. If you are cutting carbs drastically low, this can also create a starvation response similar to above (even if your calories are adequate.)
The fix: Eat balanced meals.
Aim for protein, nonstarchy veggies, healthy fat, and healthy carbs at every meal. Sound complicated? It can be at first until you get the hang of it. This is the reason WTE? Meal Plans was created by Registered Dietitian Kelli Shallal, to provide balanced meals all day long. Our meal plans contain 100 grams of protein, balanced carbohydrates, and fat to help you feel your best all day long. You’ll get what you need, so you won’t find yourself raiding the fridge at night.
If you are skipping breakfast because you aren’t hungry in the morning because of all the late night raiding, this will create a vicious cycle.
The fix: Move the time you stop eating 30 minutes earlier every night until you are hungry for breakfast within one hour of waking.
Drinking Too Much Coffee or Caffeine
Caffeine is an appetite suppressant and a stimulant. By the time you get home at night the appetite suppressant has finally worn off, and your body wants to recover from being fight or flight mode all day. If you drink more than 2-3 cups of coffee per day or more than 300mg of caffeine, you might want to rethink your caffeine consumption.
The fix: Decreasing your caffeine consumption.
Whether you go cold turkey or wean off gradually, either way decreasing your caffeine consumption will help cut those late night cravings.
Not Enough Water
Do you know what the number one sign of dehydration is? It’s not thirst, it’s actually hunger. Late night snacking could be your bodies attempt at increasing fluid consumption.
The fix: Drink half your body weight in fluid ounces daily.
Not Enough Sleep
If you aren’t sleeping enough, your body will seek calories to help make up the energy deficit.
The fix: Get 7-9 hours of sleep regularly.
Break the Habit
If you are sure you are getting enough to eat, eating balanced meals, drinking lots of water, not overdoing the caffeine, and getting enough sleep, then your late night raiding sessions may be a habit more than anything. So, that means you have to work hard to break it.
The fix: Remove triggers and remove yourself from the kitchen.
If the TV triggers you to eat then switch to reading. You can also ban yourself from the kitchen after a particular time and get out of the house by going for a walk. Other distractors include: chores, going to bed early, calling a friend, taking a bath, or doing online shopping (one bad habit for another?) Whatever you have to do to distract yourself!
Not signed up yet? What are you waiting for? Check out our plans and pricing page to get started!