Feeling sluggish, lacking energy, craving foods you might otherwise avoid? One of the biggest issues for those struggling to lose weight is controlling the desire for late night munchies. When feeling lethargic, we tend to crave foods to comfort us and evenings tend to be the most difficult time to control these cravings. After dinner as we settle down for some relaxation after a busy day, we tend to start foraging for a snack. Whether it’s early or late in the evening, this is the time that people consume most of their excess calories.
The metabolism slows down at night as we’re winding down for bed, so eating a lot at this time isn’t ideal when we’re trying to lose weight. However, according to Motivation Weight Management, the main thing to realize is that if you’re mindful of your hunger, and mindful of your food choices, you will always feel in control. For most of us, snacking in the evening is purely a bad habit. We’ve just had dinner so we’re not eating out of hunger.
These top tips from Motivation might help keep a handle on evening & night time snacking:
1. Curb the cravings
Pining for food can signify that your blood sugar is not what it should be. To help regulate blood sugar it is important that you consume protein in balanced way throughout the day. Eat a good breakfast and lunch packed with protein, good fat and vegetables. Drink plenty of water and avoid white sugar and white flour.
2. Busy up!
Quite often we eat out of boredom, habit or stress. To help eliminate perceived hunger and/or cravings shake up your routine and find other things to do. Instead of automatically sitting in front of the TV, do something different that keeps you occupied. For example, read a book, call a friend for a chat, have a bath, do something artistic, go for a walk, do 1 minute of sit-ups, etc. By doing something different, even if it’s for a few minutes, you will more often than not ease your craving or need to eat.
3. Move it!
Moderate exercise, such as walking, boosts your mood and makes you less likely to binge at night. As you lose weight, you’ll get fitter and can take the walk up to a jog.
4. If it’s not in it can’t win!
Crisps, biscuits, chocolate, sweets, ice cream and other treats will call to you and find you when they’re in your house. The best thing any of us can do is not let them cross the front door!
5. Write it down
Writing down your foods and keeping track of everything you eat will keep you focused and aware of your choices. Every study conducted into weight loss identifies that those who consistently keep a food diary lose more weight than those who do not. It is estimated that failure to write it down may cause people to underestimate their food consumption by up to 50%. Keeping a note is the best way to stay in control of eating.
6. Drink up!
If you’re feeling tempted to binge, brushing your teeth or drinking water or herbal tea can calm the urge and decrease hunger.
7. Sensible snacking
Eating at night isn’t a bad thing if you’re feeling physically hungry and snacking on healthy food. A handful of nuts, a 0% fat yogurt and sugar free jelly, a boiled egg, etc. will take the hunger away and won’t cause too much damage. Plan your snack ahead of time – that way you’ll continue to feel in control.
Although evenings might seem like the most difficult time to stay “on track,” it is possible to stay in control during this time if you plan accordingly and change your routine so that your nightly habits don’t trigger cravings. Adequate sleep is another aspect that can make our efforts that much easier. When we’re not as exhausted, we won’t crave foods that give us quick energy (i.e. carbohydrates) and we can better stick to our food plans.
Motivation Weight Management, best known for its outstanding success in helping thousands of Irish people to reach and maintain their ideal weight long-term, maintain that people falter on their New Year’s resolution to lose weight because they are not looking at the root cause of the weight gain. Motivation’s success is founded on the company’s unique approach to weight management, which focuses not just on what people eat, but why. This groundbreaking concept was pioneered by world-renowned French-Canadian bariatrician Dr. Maurice Larocque, who developed the revolutionary “Mental Weight” concept, to help people achieve and maintain their ideal weight by identifying and tackling the root cause of their eating habits and behaviours.
Motivation Weight Management now has 34 clinics nationwide. See www.motivation.ie for more information or to arrange a no obligation assessment consultation.