One of the biggest contributors to excessive calorie consumption and difficulty losing weight is late night snacking, sometimes when you are not really hungry. So many people find themselves eating late at night out of boredom, habit or to fill an emotional void. If you are trying to lose weight and you find yourself reaching for those late night snacks, this is for you.
Here are 10 things you can start doing today to prevent late night snacking.
1. Don’t restrict food during the day.
Studies show that reduced eating frequency negatively affects appetite control. Your body needs to be fueled consistently throughout the day in order to keep your blood sugar balanced. When you restrict food during the day or skip meals, you are setting yourself up for failure later in the day and late at night.
2. Include Protein, fat and carbs at each meal.
Eating three well balanced meals a day is crucial to preventing unhealthy eating behaviors late at night. The combination of the key macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) ensures that your body is getting the fuel it needs to keep you feeling full and satisfied all day long.
3. Brush your teeth earlier in the evening.
This is one of my favorite tricks.. Brushing your teeth earlier in the evening will make you much less likely to be inclined to engage in late night snacking. Even better, after you brush your teeth, move far away from the kitchen for the rest of the night.
4. Load up on fiber.
Fiber is a key nutrient that promotes satiety and aids in digestion. Most people are not getting enough of the recommended amounts of fiber each day. For women, 25 grams a day and for men, 35-40 grams a day is optimal.
5. Plan your meals.
Planning ahead is a great way to have your meals and snacks mapped out for the day, which will significantly reduce impulse eating. Make sure you have ready to eat snacks available at home or at work. Also, meal prepping is a must for those extra hectic days.
6. Remove trigger foods- out of sight, out of mind right?!
If you notice a trend that you always reach for the same snacks every night, remove them from your house and stop buying them. Instead, make sure you always have healthy snack options available that are satisfying. Some options include plain greek yogurt with berries, brown rice cakes and nut butter or veggies & hummus.
7. Get more sleep.
Studies show that sleep deprivation can throw your hunger hormones into a frenzy, leaving you with an extremely robust appetite. Make sure you are getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night.
8. Reduce stress.
Research suggests that daytime stress can lead to increased appetite at night. This typically results in mindless munching and an increase in cravings for highly palatable foods like sugar and fat. Solution? Find ways to manage your stress; some options are deep breathing, meditation and/or yoga.
9. Discover what your triggers are and conquer them.
Some people engage in late night snacking out of boredom, others out of emotion. The key is to become aware of what is happening before you reach for the snacks and develop a strategy for overcoming the trigger. A great way to do this is to keep a food journal.
10. Try distracting yourself with a walk or other activity.
This is a simple but extremely effective strategy for reducing late night snacking. Create a list of alternative activities that will easily distract you from the need to snack.
Like this post? Check out 7 Meal Planning for Weight Loss Tips
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