Breaking the Habit of Late-Night Snacking
It's hard to say no to a late-night snack, but it may be impeding your quality of sleep or weight loss goals. Whether you're truly hungry before bed or have built a habit of reaching for that midnight snack, here are some tips on how to avoid late-night snacking.
Have a Nutritious, Satisfying Dinner
If you find yourself constantly hungry before bed, it may be because your dinner is not filling enough. Make sure that your dinners include a good serving size of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. The fiber in complex carbohydrates and the healthy fats keep you satiated for longer, helping to avoid those midnight snacks!
Find Things to Do in the Evening
If you tend to snack late at night even when you're not hungry, it might be out of boredom or pure habit. Try to distract yourself by finding things to do with your evening free time. Avoid sitting on the couch and watching TV or browsing your phone. Cross off some chores on your to-do list, go for an evening walk, or call a loved one.
Prepare Healthy Snacks When You're Hungry
If you still find yourself hungry before bed, eat! However, having healthy snack options helps deter you from reaching for unhealthy processed foods. Have some fruits on hand, such as apples and bananas. Choose to snack on roasted nuts instead of salty chips or make a well-balanced snack such as whole grain crackers and hummus.
Drink a Glass of Water
Often, people misinterpret thirst for hunger. If you're feeling hungry before bed, have a glass of water or an herbal tea before reaching for the snacks. If your hunger goes away afterward, you know it was actually thirst! Learning to differentiate between the two cues can significantly help your weight loss journey.
If you're trying to break the habit of late-night snacking – whether for weight loss or general health – it's important to understand why you're reaching for the snacks in the first place. If you're bored or it's a part of your routine, break that habit by replacing it with other activities. If you are hungry (or thirsty), have a glass of water and choose a healthier snack instead of processed foods.