Managing Late Night Food Cravings

Welcome back to PorrazzaNutrition! Do you struggle with late night or after dinner eating?

Many of my clients find themselves eating late at night, even when they aren’t hungry! This could be due to stress, boredom, food commercial temptations, etc. Nighttime eating can cause you to eat more calories than you need and also spike your blood sugar levels. Let’s talk strategies for managing those night food cravings!

 

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5 Ways to Manage Late Night Cravings

1 – Make Sure Your Dinner Was Well-Balanced
Chances are if you are hungry an hour after you ate, you didn’t eat enough or the right balance of foods at dinner. Did you have at least 1 cup of vegetables (broccoli, carrots, etc)? Did you incorporate a lean protein with your meal (tofu, fish, beans, etc)? How about a high-fiber carbohydrate (baked potato with skin, beans, etc)? Don’t skip the healthy carbohydrate at dinner time since this can lead to you craving the refined ones (i.e. chips and cookies) later.

2 – Distract Yourself
Often, late night eating is a habit and not due to actual hunger. Try doing something else instead like: coloring, knitting, exercising, or even chewing gum. Drinking mint tea or any herbal tea also works well, just watch the caffeine right before bed.

3 – Avoid Staying Up Too Late
Trying to fit in more TV time? Be careful of this since it can throw off your body’s natural sleep pattern (or circadian rhythm). Go to bed earlier and get enough sleep to reduce food cravings at night and the morning after.

4 – Break the Habit
Being mindful of your habits can help you to break them. Say aloud, “Am I hungry?” “Am I bored?” “Do I need this food?” Saying it out loud can help you break the mindless eating and really assess your hunger cues. If you are truly hungry, then eat something healthy with fiber and lean protein (i.e. apple + peanut butter or veggies + hummus).

5 – Know When to Give In
It’s okay to give in to the occasional craving now and then. Sometimes I find people pick on everything BUT the food they are craving. They then end up eating more than if they had what they wanted in the beginning. Just watch the portions of unhealthy foods and avoid keeping them in the house so they won’t tempt you later. (This means going out for ice cream versus have a carton).

Your action goal for this week is to make a plan for how you will manage night food cravings. Post what you plan to work on in the comments below for some accountability!

Remember, the WMSG is open for registration for the Fall. Sign-ups are going quick and I am only taking 20 participants. You can learn more and sign-up here. 

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