Step by step instructions to Cut Out Late Night Eating

October 28, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Articles of the Day


Eating late (anytime past seven or less than 3hours before bed time), is a habit majority of people indulge in and often times, it is usually driven by cravings and long throat rather than by legitimate hunger. A lot of factors could be responsible but top on the list for me is the busy lifestyles we have these days. You find that by the time you close from work and get home, it’s already almost or beyond 7 and that leaves you in a situation where you have to snack or eat late. This should however not be an excuse because eating late can offset how well your body is able to rest, repair and recharge. When the body is busy digesting, absorbing and assimilating nutrients at night rather than taking the necessary rest and healing the body requires during sleep hours, you can wake up feeling out of sorts. If you are to develop a healthy lifestyle and also get rid off and keep off those ugly love handles, (the bulging waistline), you are going to have to make some adjustments as well as adopt new habits to help you curb and eventually cut off late night snacking. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

Practice good day time habits: This invites eating right during the day. Figure out how much you should be eating during the day and make sure your meals are balanced with the appropriate amount of calories, fat, protein, carbs and fibre. Also bear in mind that if you skip meals or cut calories too drastically, it will lead to over indulging later on and increase your probability of reaching for the wrong snacks. Also try eating small meals every three to four hours as opposed to single large meals.

Get off the computer/TV: There is nothing like a pizza commercial to send you straight to the fridge or munching away at some pieces of freshly baked pastries and a cold pop soda as you watch one of your favourite seasonal movies. Let’s face it, watching movies, whether on your computer or TV screen feels much more interesting when you’re chewing away or sipping at something. But you have to discipline yourself because they cause a lot of mindless eating. Instead, engage in some form of exercise while watching or turn it off altogether and go for a walk.

Brush your teeth: This is an interesting strategy to tryout. A lot of folks find that after brushing, they are less prone to consuming more food because they do not want to have to repeat their dental hygiene routine over again and besides, tooth paste tends to make foods taste yucky and saps your desire for late night snacks.

Drink lots of water: Water is often overlooked as a simple but effective way to avoid excessive eating. Not only are thirst and dehydration often mistaken for hunger, water can also help fill your stomach during the extra time it takes for your brain to realize you are not actually hungry. Sparkling water, flavoured with a little citrus or cucumber is particularly effective at distracting your mouth from the desire to keep munching. However, be careful about drinking too many artificial sweeteners; just keep them to a minimum.

Keep some fruits and roughage handy: Knowing what you have in store for post – dinner can also help prevent unhealthy eating. I personally keep some carrots, apples and garden eggs for my post – dinner snack. Another thing I keep is tiger nut (popularly referred to as “aya”, or “aki hausa” by Igbos) which I can nibble at without adding significantly to my overall calorie intake for the day. Late night eating is often fuelled by a desire for sugar or dessert so even a small piece of fruit is a great way to satisfy this craving and help you make it to bed time without indulging in unhealthy sweets.

Exercise: Light exercise can be great killing the desire to eat. Apart from the fact that you burn off a few calories (as opposed to increasing the calorie intake by your eating late), exercising in the evening is a super blood sugar regulator that allows not only for better digestion, more toned muscles and a deeper sleep, but it also gets your mind off the kitchen and onto something more fun.

If you have allowed yourself to get into the habit of eating late, you can start to gradually change that by reducing the amount of food you eat each evening. Also, choosing to consume more plant based and natural foods which are healthier, more nutritious as well as lower in calories will help a lot. However, if all else fails, just go to bed.