How to End Your Nightly Snacking Habit
By Sara Butler
If you’re no stranger to the kitchen after lights out, then it’s time to get real. Indulging in your cravings out of boredom, fear, worry, anger, or whatever emotion is driving you is not a healthy habit. It’s not conducive to a healthy weight or lifestyle. Here are a few tips to help you wean yourself off the nighttime snacks to a more sensible snacking schedule.
The Last Meal
If you find yourself snacking a lot at night, then the first step to fix it is to make sure you’re not hungry at night. You can do this by planning your last meal of the day with care. The meal should contain lean protein and healthy fat, such as salmon with olive oil. You should also toss in at least three servings of a bulky vegetable such as leafy greens or sweet potatoes.
If you try this plan and still hear the siren song of the kitchen at night, then try adding a healthy snack an hour or two before bed. Some foods can actually help you fall asleep, such as a banana with nut butter or hummus with whole grain crackers.
Learn Non-Food Sleep Methods
Lack of sleep can convince your body that it’s hungry, which leads to an awful cycle of sleep deprivation and eating. To help avoid this, try some alternatives to snacking to help your mind reset and help you get to sleep. Try:
- Light stretches
- Deep breathing exercises
- Writing your worries in a journal
Whatever you do, don’t turn on the television. The ambient light can make it even more difficult to get back to sleep.
Identify Your Triggers
If you often turn to food when you’re having trouble sleeping, then it’s worth taking a look at your relationship with food all the time. During the day, do you only eat at mealtimes or do you graze all day long? Do you eat when you’re frustrated, lonely, bored, tired, or angry instead of when you’re actually hungry? Keep a food journal and make sure to note what you were doing and how you were feeling when you ate. You may start to notice a pattern you can then work on fixing during the day that will make it less likely for you to snack at night.
Snacking late at night can really put a damper on your plans for to eat right, so take the steps you need to eliminate that habit!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lynnwood, Wash.