Do you eat late at night?
Do you snack mindlessly after dinner?
Do wake up and snack on treats?
Do you crave unhealthy foods at night?
Do you eat well all day and then ruin it by overeating at night?
Late night snacking can sabotage a good day of eating. It can happen to anyone–even the most dedicated of healthy eaters. It used to happen to me all the time.
I have some tips that I’ve learned over the years that I will share with you. The secret for me has been to STAY BUSY. When I was 250+ I spent a lot of time watching TV and movies and what goes best with that sedentary activity? Cheesecake. Candy bars. Cookies. Chips and soda. I ate ALL the junk food out there.
Then it became a habit…I found that watching TV meant I HAD to have snack too. It became a routine. A ritual. I had to consciously make a decision to get rid of that ritual in order to change my habits.
Tips for Overcoming Snacking Traps
1. Leave some extra calories (or WW points) for an after dinner snack. I realized long ago that I will always want to finish my dinner with a treat. In order to make healthier choices and not sabotage my entire day of calorie counting, I save 100-200 calories extra for a sweet treat.
2. STAY BUSY! Go to the gym after work, spend extra time with your kids, walk the dog, play cards with your significant other. Whatever can distract you from boredom eating.
3. Try substituting high calorie snacks with fruit or tea.
4. Try making a lower calorie protein shake or fruit smoothie. It’s almost like having a milkshake and it will fill you up faster than junk food (especially adding protein).
5. Don’t have the snacks in your house. I keep the sweet treats to a minimum in my house because if they are there in plain sight I will eat them until they are gone!
6. Ask yourself if you are really hungry or just bored? Boredom eating was usually my downfall.
7. If you do watch TV late at night, find something to keep you busy. I used to do Scrapbooking and other crafts. Before I knew it I’d spent a few hours working on projects while I caught up on TV shows and I didn’t even think of snacking!
8. If you do snack after dinner, choose something high in fiber to fill you up.
9. Try brushing your teeth right after dinner. If you do it regularly after dinner it will become habit and signal to your brain that it’s time to stop eating.
10. Remember: YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE. Food does not control you. You control what you eat!
QUESTION: Do you fall victim to late night snacking? How did you change the habit?