If you’re focused more on what’s in the refrigerator than the television program you’re watching, learning how to crush nighttime cravings can help you lose weight or eat healthier. Nighttime cravings occur for a number of reasons. Sometimes the reasons are simple, such as you didn’t eat enough during the day or it’s a habit you formed years ago. It can come from psychological problems, such as depression or eating disorders. You can crush those cravings by using a few of these tricks to tame your desire.
Start by making wiser choices.
While it’s not exactly cutting out nighttime eating, it can make a difference in your health and weight. Rather than choosing a chewy chocolate bar stuffed with nuts and caramel, you might consider a lower calorie yogurt that has a chocolate twist, like the Boston cream pie one. If that bag of chips is calling your name, nuke a potato instead…Don’t forget to get rid of the chips, you don’t need them hanging around anyway.
Avoid stress or boredom eating by keeping your hands busy.
You may just want something to do while you’re winding down watching your favorite television program. Take up a hobby that does just that, whether it’s knitting, playing cards, doing a puzzle or crossword. Taking up a new hobby and avoiding the television altogether is also an option. If you’re in the garage doing woodworking or take up drawing or painting. Before you know it, you’ll be involved enough that craving will disappear.
Identify the cause and the craving.
Are you just following through with a habit you’ve had forever? Are you REALLY hungry? Is it the sweet treat, salty pretzel or just crunchy sound you want to hear? Sometimes, those are emotional reactions to the day. Crunchy is often a way to let off steam. A craving for sugary foods may be a sign you’re depressed. It could also be a sign you’re tired. There’s a lot of reasons for eating certain foods and snacks. Only you can identify whether you’re really needing a boost to your energy or are feeling depressed. If it’s at night, the chances of needing energy is pretty big! Go to bed. That will help solve the problem.
- One way to quit eating after you eat is to brush your teeth. It may be earlier in the evening when you crave food, but there’s something about having that minty freshness in your mouth that says stop eating.
- Clean the kitchen immediately after dinner. Do the whole nine yards, wiping down cupboards, loading the dishwasher or hand washing dishes and cleaning the sink. You’ll be less likely to mess it up again.
- Eat healthier during the day to make sure the craving isn’t your body craving a nutrient.
- Establish a schedule and stick with it. If you go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time, you’ll be less likely to crave those sugary products in the wee hours of the morning…because you’re asleep. The same is true of your eating pattern.