You know those nights when you've just finished eating dinner… but you're already hungry again. Or that sweet tooth hits and you're immediately doing a mental scan of your fridge, pantry, cupboards, your kids room, your boyfriends car...trying to remember if you have left over chocolate or sweets somewhere?
I’ve worked with a lot of clients who struggle with this and they’ve shared some tips to help over come that drive to eat like... chew gum (ummm its not chocolate though), brush your teeth (but whyyyy), go for a walk (hell nah, it's raining and cold), read a book.........(crickets)
I even had one client who sad she "gets naked in front of a mirror to realise how much she doesn't need a snack"
Ummmm, just no!!
So I immediately went into overdrive in prepping some realistic steps that will help reduce those late night cravings so you don't have to resort to these questionable "tips"
1 - Eat enough dinner - duh. It might seem obvious but a lot of people skimp out on dinner because they ‘already ate a lot that day’. But then you end up wanting more later because you're just not satisfied. This leads to high calorie, low nutrient snack options.
2 - Get your protein at breakfast. Studies have shown that when women get 20g of protein at breakfast, their appetite, mood and cravings are more stable throughout the day.
3 - Balance your blood sugars throughout the day. If you are constantly spiking your blood sugar, then you're going to get another spike after dinner. Try to include fat, protein and fiber every time you eat.
4 - Eat as needed throughout the day. Listen to your hunger cues! If you keep putting off eating, it's going to hit you BIG time at night.
5 - Drink enough fluids! Sometimes the body uses hunger as a drive to make us get more fluids. Some foods have a high water content and we often drink something when we eat too. Try staying hydrated throughout the day, and have a big drink of water if you think your hunger may actually be thirst related.
6 - Be mindful - Start with being mindful during your dinner. Are you enjoying it? Is it satisfying? Are you present for most or all of the bites you take? If you eat quickly during dinner you might "miss" the recognition of actually eating. The mental part of food is real! Secondly be mindful of your feelings post dinner. Are you hungry or is it something else? Are you bored, self sabotaging, mindless eating, stressed, or some other emotion? Try to identify what you are feeling!
7 - Plan for the craving - Especially if you eat early and go to bed late. Go easy on yourself and snack smart. You may actually be hungry because the body needs more! Choose something nourishing and that sounds good! What is your snack type? Sweet, salty, crunchy, warm and comforting? Have some things on hand or prepared.
8 - Get enough sleep! Not sleeping enough causes cravings of sweets and starches. The brains preferred energy is carbs! So if you are not sleeping well and don’t have enough energy then you’ll crave it.
Let me know which tips you try!