You feel good about the amount of water you drank, you got your workout in and even prepared a healthy dinner. Sounds like a pretty good day, right?
Then the late-night-snacking creeps in, you can't resist and just like that it feels like all the good choices you made during the day are washed down the drain.
"Let frustration fuel inspiration" - Sonia Boyce
The late-night-snacking can develop into a habit that seems hard to break. Walking mindlessly to the kitchen at the same time every evening to grab something to snack on can turn into an unwanted routine and most likely you are not walking out of the kitchen with a raw carrot, am I right? Not only do we tend to make mediocre snack choices but we also tell ourselves that we failed, don't have follow through etc. You know what I mean. Beating yourself up over this makes things even worse. Now you’re not only dealing with what you just ate but also the voice that’s stuck in your head asking you what you were thinking going for the chips late at night. Ugh!
It might be interesting to find out WHY this habit has snuck its way into your life, but let's instead talk about possible ways to get rid of it.
Bring variety into your meals
It might be hard to believe but bringing variety into your meals has a lot to do with your desire to snack at night.
Eating different foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner will make it less likely for you to overeat after hours. Be curious, what do you feel like eating? What are some new things you could try? Next time you scroll mindlessly on social media, use the time to find a fun looking food account and get inspired to try something new. You'll find you'll be distancing yourself from those late-night cravings.
Have more fiber and protein
Fiber is a critical nutrient that can keep you feeling energized and satisfied for so much longer. Beans, lentils, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are excellent fiber sources. For women, you should aim to eat 25 grams of fiber per day. Protein can also serve to keep you feeling full, with the bonus of making you feel full more quickly.
Easier said than done, but here is something to keep in mind when it comes to better sleep: Focus on getting to bed at a decent hour every night. Working late into the night can cause an imbalance in your metabolism and set off those hunger hormones. This will cause you to feel hungry when your body is really just tired. One key signal is the desire to keep on snacking even after you've eaten a balanced meal for dinner. Set a time for yourself to go to bed each night and do your best to stick to it.
Do not eat while watching television
When you are completely absorbed in a TV show or movie, it's so easy to lose track of what goes into your mouth. You won't notice when you're truly satisfied, and you most certainly won't have enjoyed a bite of whatever it is that you just ate. A little trick: if you do want to snack during screen time, portion it out and put the rest of the food away before you start eating.
Choose nutritious snacks instead
I know… this one seems like a no-brainer. Keep in mind that sometimes, you actually ARE hungry. It could be that a busy day has thrown you off, and you didn't eat enough. But the only way to know for sure is to ask yourself if you're tired, bored, sad, or even just thirsty. Start with a glass of water. If you still feel hungry, you might be right, and you are hungry. In this case, cut up veggies and spoon some hummus onto a plate to have a healthy snack. If you prefer something sweet, cut up an apple and add your favorite nut butter.
Going for a healthy snack will leave you feeling good about yourself. Body and mind.
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