How to Deal with Nighttime Snacking
By Sara Butler
If you’re trying to watch what you eat for your health, then you know there’s one time of day that really tests your willpower: the evening. You may have done great all day and made only the best choices, but after dinner, those munchies come to life and you end up snacking. This behavior may be keeping you from meeting your health goals, so here are a few tips to help you reduce nighttime snacking.
Take Away Temptation
If food is out of sight, then it’s out of mind. Sure, you can always head over to the nearest drive-thru to quench those post-dinner cravings, but you're far less likely to do that than reach for a bag of cookies that are in your pantry. If you find that having unhealthy snacks around is a trigger for your nighttime snacking, then take the opportunity away.
What’s For Dinner?
If you find you’re often hungry after dinner, then it might be because your dinner is lacking some important nutrients. A balanced meal with healthy fats, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates will help you manage after-dinner snacking. If you’re cutting back on a certain food group on purpose, you may want to reconsider if you’re finding that your cravings in the evenings are causing problems.
Try Something New
One of the reasons snacking may not be appealing to you during the day is that you’re busy. But at night, after dinner, you may be snacking simply because you’re bored. Instead of eating when you feel this way, pick up a book, listen to some tunes, take a hot bath, or write out your to-do list for tomorrow. Anything but head into the kitchen for some mindless munching.
Give Yourself Substitutions
Nighttime snacking is no joke and something a lot of people struggle with -- so know you’re not alone. If you think you may not be able to curb the habit entirely, then give yourself some healthy alternatives. If you want something sweet, make yourself a Greek yogurt smoothie with fruit. If you want something salty, have a cheese stick or some beef jerky -- even steamed, lightly salted edamame can do the trick. Air-popped popcorn is also a good choice since it’s a whole grain snack. Just avoid drenching it in butter!
With some simple strategies, you can overcome mindless evening snacking!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Greenwood Village, Colo.