Late night cravings are possibly the worst of temptations and probably of the unhealthiest. Fighting them off is a very difficult thing, as many of us have experienced. But how do you resist that bag of Doritos while watching your favorite TV show or finishing that essay? Here are a few tips to help keep the bad snacks away:
Integrate a Well-Balanced Diet
Eating balanced is perhaps the most effective thing you could do for your body. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will call for an alkaline system and absorption of all of the fibers, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to function properly. Protein is essential whether you attain it from meat or plant derived proteins, and making sure you get just the right amount is absolutely vital. Just the right amount of carbohydrates and sugars will give your body the fuel it needs to function. As long as your fats and oils are controlled, you are likely to be replacing those cravings with a healthier alternative.
Eat On a Schedule
Making sure that you eat on time is strongly correlated with how much you will want to consume later in the day and the types of food you will crave. Make sure that you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at equally spaced out hours with healthy snacks in between to keep your metabolism and blood sugar levels steady. Waiting too long to start eating lunch of breakfast can skew your routine which can cause confusion in your system.
Drink Tons of Water
Try chugging an entire glass of water when you begin to feel hungry. Many times, your body is actually dehydrated and what it really needs is water. Not only will this fill your stomach and replace the hunger but it will also cleanse your digestive system and free it from unwanted radicals.
Get Busy or Release Stress
We usually tend to think about food when we are in either stressful situations due to the inflow of anxiety or when we are bored. If we are stressed, relaxing or mediating is perhaps the best way to create an outlet for the anxiety we are feeling. Releasing it through food late at night is not only unhealthy but can also cause more anxiety because of the sugar spikes. On the other hand, if you happen to be bored, it is almost instinct to walk over to the kitchen. Try doing something other than thinking about food like finding a hobby, complete an unfinished task, or even go to bed early.
Build New Habits
Habits play a huge role in your cravings. Instead of eating on the couch or on your bed, make sure you make the effort to sit at your dinner table to eat. This will help you avoid the unnoticed urge to finish the bag of chips or box of cookies. Eating at the dinner table makes you focus on just eating and you become aware of how much you are consuming, making you more conscious and likely to avoid overeating.
Another trick can be to have dinner an hour or so later. This will make you fuller before your usual bedtime. Another strategy you could use to deceive your brain is to pre-pack healthy snacks throughout the day and have a special one saved for night. Pre-packing your snacks helps create portion control and reminds you that you’ve already put the effort into preparing them (meaning you might be less inclined to scarf down that left over pizza!). These snacks can include sliced fruits, nuts, or granolas.
Late night cravings tend to lean towards fattening foods rather than healthy nutrient-rich foods. For that reason, they are usually dangerous to your health and can cause weight gain. However, hopefully with these tips you can alter your approach and dodge cravings completely!
Image: A Dash of Cinema