How to curb late night snacking? That seems to be the question of many a mind. Just stop eating they say! The answer to this dilemma may not be as simple though.
Reasons Why We Eat at Night: The scientific explanation states that our hunger is controlled via the secretion of hormones in a pattern known as the Circadian Rhythm.
This causes us to crave starches and sugars around the hour of eight pm.
This may have been useful for our ancestors back in the day enabling them to store fat at times when food was not so abundant but isn’t applicable today.
So how can we stop?
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1) Routines (Make Them or Break Them!)
Many of us work the basic nine to five which means evenings to us represent a time in which to relax or catch up on chores and errands.
Evening hours tend to be less structured than at work and so it leaves room for our hands to wander into the random potato chip bag.
Instead of ravaging around in a bowl of popcorn while enjoying your favorite TV sitcom, try folding laundry, or organizing your mail.
Take time to set the table and have sit down dinner. This aids in increased satisfaction and reduced intake while fostering bonds between family members.
Ensure that you have a post dinner routine. After dinner doesn’t always have to come dessert. Try some other pleasurable option to reward yourself for a day of hard work, such as taking the dog for a walk, playing with kids or meeting up with family.
2) Control Your Surroundings
Purge that pantry and those cupboards from all unhealthy options and restock with foods which have good nutritious value. That’s one way to keep your hand out of the cookie jar.
The latest fad in the fitness world seems to be that of ‘meal prep’. Instead of reaching for Chinese takeout on the way home, preparing balanced meals ahead of time is an ideal way to ensure a proper dinner which is only a microwave away.
We live in a world which is dominated by social media. How many of us spend our last waking hours scrolling through our Instagram and Facebook feeds which are inundated everyday with images of food?
Take time to remove some of those temptations so the last thing you see at night isn’t a cheeseburger.
3) Self Love
Take time for yourselves. The most important person is you.
Get enough sleep ensuring that you are well rested on mornings and have time to prepare the most important meal, breakfast.
Yes you may have that next meeting to get to but skipping lunch isn’t the best way to do it. That just puts your hunger into overdrive and before you know it you will be that person scarfing nachos on the interstate on your drive home.
4) Mind Over Matter
Look at food for what it is, not how it makes you feel. Food is meant as a source of fuel for our bodies, helping them to regenerate and work at maximum capacity.
Serious interventions are required for serious problems.
Make yourself accountable to others. Involve friends and family members in your decisions so that your cravings are controlled not only by yourself but by others who want the best for you.
5) Tips And Tricks
Its a long road to recovery so here are some tips to help you get from day to day. When feeling hungry try brushing your teeth or having something minty to reduce your appetite.
Have a glass of water instead of food, since sometimes thirst signals can be mistaken for that of hunger. Set a timer and only allow yourself to snack ten minutes after your craving hits. Chances are you will forget about that sudden urge after only two.
Try to supplement with multivitamins so that your body is well supplied with nutrients and doesn’t crave salt and sweet.
These are just a few ways in which you can curb late night snacking. Its up to you to find out which trick works for you!