Many of us are able to maintain good eating habits during the day because we have memorized and ingrained into us diet tips such as drinking plenty of water, eating a good breakfast, snacking on celery…However, when the night comes and snack cravings hit us, it is easy to undo our day’s worth of healthy eating and exercise. We all know late night eating is bad for us, now the question is how to stop night eating.
Tips on How to Stop Night Eating
- Eat three good meals during the day with one or two snacks between meals. Those who eat too few calories during the day often find that they are ravenous at night and this can lead to night eating. It is also advisable to consume most of your calories before 6 pm.
- Fill up with empty calories when you feel the urge to eat at night. Try brewing a pot of chamomile tea and sweeten with artificial sugar or honey. You can also make clear vegetable or chicken broth, which will fill you up with negligible calories. Warm fluids are great for soothing emotions and appetite.
- Remember that the “hunger pangs” that you feel, for example your stomach growling during a certain time at night can also be due to your habitual night eating. You need to learn to break that habit. Remind yourself of what your motivation is for stopping your night eating.
- Hide your junk food. When we sit in front of the TV or computer we normally look for things to snack on so it is best to put junk food out of sight. Better still do not buy or replenish your supply of junk food.
- Keep a variety of sugar-free gum or hard candy at hand. These confections have very few calories yet they can give you the satisfaction of snacking. Buy a few flavors or find the ones that appeal to you and keep them within reach of your sofa, computer or even at your bedside if you watch TV in bed where nighttime snacking is likely to occur.
- Before the craving starts brush your teeth with a strong minty toothpaste which will spoil the taste of any foods that you may want to eat. After brushing, floss and rinse with a mouthwash. If the craving is still there, try slapping on some tooth whitening strips.
- If you have tried all of the above and the craving is still there, perhaps you can take a long bath, put on a relaxing facial mask and slip into a bathtub with some nice smelling bubble bath soap. Look for ways to avoid sitting in front of the television where snacking can occur.
- Occupy your hands so that they won’t be able to reach out for snacks. One suggestion is to paint your nails, perhaps by the time your nails dry your craving would have passed. Other methods, could be slathering your hands with rich creams and putting cotton gloves on or occupying your hands with activities such as knitting or scrapbooking. Or taking up some kind of other hobby that will keep your hands busy.
- Keep a diet journal in view as a reminder. Whenever you feel a craving, reach out for the journal, read what your goals are, then write down what you are feeling at that precise moment.
Lastly, remember the urge to eat at night will go away when you fall asleep. As the weeks go by and you do not give in to the urge to snack at night, the temptation will lessen.