What you eat for breakfast may very well affect your urge to eat at night. That’s right. Studies based on blood samples and brain activity scans prove that eating a breakfast high in protein in the morning can curb your desire to eat after supper. But what if you have those after-supper or late night overwhelming urges to eat something – anything?
Evening grazers have found these six strategies work at curbing their late night snacking urges:
1) Eat foods high in fiber
High-fiber foods keep you from getting hungry by keeping you fuller longer. Also, most foods high in fiber contain fewer calories than lower fiber foods. Legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains are staples and full of fiber.
2) Keep busy
Take a look at why you are eating. Is it because you are physically hungry, or are you eating to quell some emotions or from boredom? If you are actually hungry, then by all means have a snack (by snack we are talking 250 calories or less), such as a small apple, rice cake with peanut butter, or a cup of low-fat yogurt. Be sure to factor in these calories into your daily calorie count.
But if you are not hungry, then keep busy doing something that will take your mind off of eating, such as taking a walk, working emails, calling a friend, going to bed, or just waiting for a while. Normally that urge to raid the refrigerator will pass with time.
3) Eat your evening meal later than normal
If you find you actually are hungry, try eating your evening meal a little later than normal. This may keep you full until bedtime, thus eliminating your evening snack.
4) Eat a healthy morning and afternoon snack
One of the biologic functions that can fuel a hunger binge is a drop in blood sugar. Prevent this by having a healthy snack in the morning and afternoon in addition to your small healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
5) Plan a healthy night-time snack
There is nothing wrong with eating a late-night snack if you plan the calories into your daily count. Chew on some carrot sticks or celery filled with peanut butter. The fiber will keep you satisfied until breakfast.
6) Only keep healthy foods stocked in your pantry
One way to keep from wrecking your diet through late-night snacking is to not have “bad” snacks in the house. You can’t eat something that is not there. If you must have something to eat, gnosh on some popcorn (without the butter of course). It can be eaten slowly and the fiber will fill you up without all the extra calories.
Part of overcoming your late-night urges is setting yourself up for success. Use these six strategies that other late-night grazers have found to be effective.