A well meaning, invested, and health conscience individual's worst nightmare other than the gym being closed.
- It's near the end of the day and your favorite TV Show is on
- We typically always related watching TV or our favorite movie to also enjoying our favorite snack/beverage
- Our house is our place of peace (usually) and many times our safe havens are breeding grounds for bad habits
Well balanced nutrition often times gets tilted in the wrong direction due to late night cravings that often times can be gluten & dairy plus, extra butter, double whipped cream, or a whole host of your favorite chocolates and candies!
If this gets slanted in the wrong direction this can easily sabotage an entire day's worth of conscience eating. Eating towards your fitness goals comes down to one simple equation...
Calories in Vs. Calories Out
Now before you tell me it's "FAR MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT!" I will agree...to a point. Stress, activity or lack thereof during the day, and different genetic factors will play a large role in this equation. Two people may have the same weight, height, and activity level and can have a different metabolism. It's possible and very ignorant to not point out.
How do we prevent people from over eating? And eating a diet that is full of lean proteins, varying colors of fruits, veggies, and ample amounts of healthy fats? How do we create a plan that accommodates someone's favorite foods in moderation?
This is an answer that would take about an entire novel, go to a library and look through the hundreds of options at your disposal. OR book a nutrition consult with myself :)
Tips To Prevent Late Night Cravings
- What Foods Do You Tend To Snack On At Night? Throw Them out... Or Do Not Buy Them!
Does this go without saying?The simplest way to prevent yourself from over eating at night is to identify the foods that you most commonly snack on... and do not buy them. If you already purchased them, it may not be the worst thing to either throw them out or donate it if it has not been opened!
This is so much easier said than done, obviously. As often times the foods we eat at night are usually ice cream, chips, crackers, or something with a varying degree of fat, sugar, or both. Children oftentimes are a main reason to why the foods are in the house in the first place. This will not be a post about raising kids properly. I am not a father, nor will I lecture on how to be one :) There are a few tips you can have to remove your cravings for the late night snack foods your children tend to fiend for.
- Buy snacks that the kids like that you do not care for. It makes it easier for them to sit there in the cabinet uneaten.
- Buy it in small quantities. You really ready to tell your kids that YOU ate their snacks on them?
- Buy a flavor of snack that you do not like (if you LOVE chocolate ice cream and they love pistachio... and you HATE pistachio... buy that!)
2. Keep Your Refrigerator Stocked With Easy to Prepare Veggies
Keeping celery, carrots, green peppers, and raw broccoli florets (to name a few) on call is a surefire way to minimize overeating calories at night. These foods are very filling and packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber to keep you fuller longer.
Lets put this into perspective for a minute...
100 grams of green pepper is 20 calories
100 grams of wheat thins is 452 calories
I can go on an on with different comparisons. But something to keep in mind when you're trying to make smart choices at night.
Need to spice it up? Try adding mustard to it.
Mustard is low calorie and provides that salty taste that we are looking for. It can really work wonders to our hungry taste buds!
3. Keep Alcohol To a Minimum
1 or 2 drinks a night of a low calorie beer, wine, or spirit is fine for many people. When you start delving into the 3+ range that can rapidly make you gravitate towards savory, high calorie foods that you normally may not go for. Adherence to nutrition tends to go out the window when you are under the influence of alcohol. Your ability to care about goals tends to diminish. And poor choices are fueled by more bad choices!
- If you legitimately have an issue controlling yourself with alcohol at night. That is far beyond the scope of many counselors and RDs. Please refer to the appropriate professional if you need assistance with that.
- Many people drink beer not for the taste or the buzz, but instead for the carbonation. If you want a bubbly, low calorie alcoholic beverage, try a vodka, club soda, and lime. Great taste and very low calorie.
There are multiple ways to stave off hunger cravings. This is not a one size fits all approach. But these are the biggies and I hope they hear you if you struggle to control your eating at night!
For more information and tips on hunger control and for a chance to book your first nutrition assessment 20% off, reach out to Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org