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By Kevin Hensel
Late night eating is the kiss of death to any weight loss program. Many people maintain good diets during the day only to blow it late at night out of boredom or insatiable cravings. Below are 10 tips to curb late night eating.
1. Skipping meals and snacks is one of the single biggest reasons for late night binging. Be sure to eat 3 good meals during the day with 2 between meal snacks. Most people try to eat too few calories during the day only to binge late at night. If you skip your late afternoon snack 2PM – 4PM you’ll get home totally starved, then you’ll binge for dinner. A few hours later when your sugar levels crash at around 8PM-9PM you’ll get crazy sugar cravings which is only going to lead to binging on evil processed carbs and sugar. Don’t skip your snacks especially your late afternoon snack (Aim for a 150-250 calorie snack with 10+grams of protein eg. apple and 20 raw almonds or 1 cup of greek yogurt and blueberries!!)
2. When you feel the urge to eat late at night, try drinking 2 or more cups of water. You can also make a cup of herbal tea sweetened with honey or agave nectar (natural sweetener – low on the glycemic index). Hot liquids have a soothing effect on emotions and appetite.
3. Remind yourself that it’s normal to feel hungry late at night due to habitually eating late. Breaking this habit is like learning to quit smoking. Remind yourself of your goal to lose 20 or 30 pounds and the key to losing this weight is to STOP late night eating. Write your fitness goals for the month on an index card and attach it to your refrigerator. It’s a constant reminder that you are sabotaging yourself – believe me it works!!
4. Much of late night eating after dinner can be avoided by hiding the junk food. Put foods that you’re prone to eat late at night out of sight. Better yet, don’t buy junk food at all, though this may not be possible if you have kids. If you need a snack, don’t eat out of the bag or container. You are 80% more likely to overeat if you eat out of the food container. Put a single serving in a bowl or small plate (small plates make your portions look bigger – believe me these mind games work) then put the rest of it away out of sight (Make it annoying to get another serving – store it in a high cupboard or behind healthier options in the pantry).
5. Suck on hard candy – I recommend Ricola sugar free the menthol makes everything you eat afterwards taste really funky. Most hard candy have only a few calories and they give you the satisfaction of snacking. You can also chew on gum which will satisfy your oral craving for a few hours- try sugar free gum.
6. Keep a written copy of your diet plan and food journal in view, which will keep your goal of losing weight firmly fixed in your mind. The temptation to snack late at night will not be as great if you don’t give into the urge for several weeks. Keep your food journal on the kitchen table or close to your pantry.
7. Some people have great success by simply brushing their teeth late at night when you know your snacking is going to go to the bad place. This method has been known to curb late night eating for many people.
8. The most vulnerable time for eating late is 1 hour after dinner right up to bedtime. Keep your life interesting by working on a favorite hobby and NOT watching TV. The ads on TV can subconsciously trigger the impulse to eat. Boredom is your biggest danger to late night eating. Read a book or read all of my emails – I’m sure you have enough of them to create a novel. Here are some great books to really curb your late night eating “Eat This Not That” series, “Omnivore’s Dilema”, “Eat Smart, Play Hard”, or watch “Fast Food Nation” or “Food Inc” – you won’t want to eat for awhile after these.
9. Psyche yourself for the battle. You know that you will feel tempted to snack late at night. It’s an artificial feeling that will go away when you go to bed. The next morning, you probably won’t be hungry…. eat breakfast anyway within the first hour of waking up…. it’s the most important meal of the day.
10. Have dessert. Late night carbs do have a sedative effect – so give in and treat yourself. Here are some great ideas that are extremely tasty and low in calorie. I totally love the Skinny Cow Ice Cream Desserts -they’re only 140 calories. JUST EAT ONE!! I prefer to make a protein smoothie. Make it taste like a chocolate milkshake. I love Chocolate Shaklee Cinch Meal Replacement Powder 1 scoop with 1 cup of skim milk (soy milk), 1/4 cup of plain greek yogurt (adds a great amount of extra protein and it really gives it a great milkshake consistency), and to make it extra frothy add 4-5 ice cubes. I also add a tablespoon of all natural peanut butter (Crazy Richards is my favorite) for an extra treat to make it taste like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. It packs about 30 grams of protein and it really does taste like a milkshake. The fiber and protein will really fill you up.
Changing your eating habits is extremely difficult. The best cure for late night eating is stabilizing your blood sugar levels. Stable blood sugar levels curb hunger and cravings.
Use these 10 proven strategies to cure your late night eating and finally reach your health and fitness goals.
About the Author: http://www.personaltrainerincherryhill.com Kevin Hensel is Cherry Hill’s Leading Fitness Expert. He has helped over 768 Cherry Hill, NJ residents achieve their health and fitness goals since 1996. You could be our next success story. For other related article visit http://www.personaltrainerincherryhill.com/category/blog/lose-the-weight/
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