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How to Stop Those Late Night Snacks

By Paul Rothbart

Late night snacks satisfy cravings but they are not healthy and most often the snacker isn't hungry and doesn't need food. They just add additional calories and can lead to weight gain. You also won't sleep well if your body is busy digesting food. Snacking before bed is generally tied to some other issue. You don't have to give into it. There are ways to stop it.

Find Your Triggers

Eating at night is caused by something and knowing what that something is can help to control the urge. If you are eating when you're not hungry, it's helpful to keep a diary in which you track your mood before you eat at night. By writing it down each time it happens, you can identify what is triggering your snacking. You may be feeling stress about work, your health, or a loved one. It could be general anxiety or physical pain. When you know the triggers, you can work to eliminate them and thus stop eating at night.

Set a Schedule

Another way to get your late-night snacking under control is to schedule meals and sleep. Set specific times for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any snacks during the day. Decide when you will go to bed. You can write it down or set reminders on your smartphone calendar app. Many people like to stick to a schedule when there is one and that can make this method very effective.

Meal Planning

Hand in hand with scheduling is meal planning. When you decide when to eat each meal, decide what to eat. Choose healthy foods for each meal and for any snacks. Only take food out when it's meal prep time or snack time. Studies show that if food is in sight, the temptation to snack is much greater. This has been linked to obesity. Keep the food put away and only use what's on the menu. 

Manage Stress

There's a good chance your food diary will indicate the cause of snacking at night as feeling stressed. It may be the most common reason people do it. Find ways to manage your stress. Meditation and deep breathing exercises can be very helpful. Yoga and practicing mindfulness work wonders for some people. Lowering your stress levels will help you in other ways as well as ending your snacking.

Snacking late at night is almost a national pastime. It is not, however, healthy. By using these tips you can stop eating right before bed and improve your health.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbus, Ohio

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