5 Tips to Avoid Unhealthy Nighttime Snacking
Ditching your unhealthy nighttime snacking habits doesn't mean ditching snacking altogether. We've assembled 5 tips to help you snack healthier and stay on track with your diet and weight loss goals.
We've all done it before: You're awakened from a dreamy slumber and tiptoe to the kitchen to indulge in a late night snack of tantalizing treats that you wouldn't dare be caught eating by daylight. It's not the act of nighttime snacking that derails your diet, but what you eat that makes nighttime snacking the nightmare of dieters everywhere. Before you succumb to that creamy, chocolate cake or delicious, leftover lasagna, here are five tips to avoid unhealthy nighttime snacking and choose healthier nighttime snacks.
Occupy Your Evening
Nighttime is often a respite from work—a time to relax and kick back. But if after dinner, your idle hands often find their way to the refrigerator door, the excess calories conferred by your nighttime snacking habit may threaten your weight loss goals. Instead of relying on food for thought, occupy your thoughts with a good book, conversation, or a vigorous walk in the park to stimulate your mind and your metabolism.
Start Snacking Healthy
You are what you eat, as the adage goes, so if your nighttime snacking habit consists of chips, cookies, or soda, you're more likely to become overnight, lethargic, and ill-equipped for productivity the next day. You can learn how to stop snacking at night and energize your day by replacing unhealthy snacks with healthier nighttime snacks. Swap milk chocolate for heart-healthy dark chocolate in small quantities or ice cream for yogurt topped with raspberries.
Fortify Your Dinner
One of the top reasons for unhealthy nighttime snacking is a dinner that comprises empty calories like refined pasta or processed foods. As these foods don't satiate you long, consuming them makes you more likely to indulge in menacing munchies late at night. Ensure that your dinner plate is packed with lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh, fibrous vegetables that nourish your appetite and your body throughout the night.
Quench Your Thirst
Dieters often mistake thirst for hunger and curb their cravings with extra calories that exceed their daily recommended caloric intake and cause weight gain. Distinguishing hunger pangs from thirst is one of the best ways to learn how to stop snacking at night. When a craving hits you, don't be too quick to reach for the pantry. Sip a spot of herbal tea, water, or homemade, unsweetened lemonade to put your appetite to bed before you settle into bed.
Don't Eat Behind Closed Doors
Eating in your bedroom may afford convenience and indulgence, but it can also lead to excessive grazing on empty calories and create a feeling of guilt surrounding nighttime snacking. Snacking need not be a cloak-and-dagger habit that you hide from the world. Come out of the bedroom and enjoy healthier nighttime snacks at the dining table or in the kitchen surrounded with company who support you in your good eating habits.
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