Controlling Late-Night Cravings
And get control over your waistline at the same time.
probably heard of diets that force dieters to avoid eating after a certain time
of the day. That's because eating lots of food right before going to bed makes
it more likely that your body will store up fat when you're not burning calories
by moving around. How can you fend off those late-night cravings that bring
unwanted calories to your most vulnerable soft spots?
Go to Bed
One of the easiest ways to avoid late-night cravings is to cut the late
nights out of your life. This is as easy. Simply brush your teeth, wash your
face, and get in bed well before your cravings usually kick in. To make sure you
don't find yourself lying in bed for hours and suffering the same late-night
desires that you're trying to avoid, don't read or watch television in bed. It
may take a few nights to grow accustomed to an earlier bedtime, but your
physical and emotional health will improve from hitting the hay at a decent hour.
This may seem contradictory if you're trying to beat late-night eating, but
pushing dinner back an hour or so will help you stay full later into the night,
ultimately leading to no more late-night cravings. This can be a difficult
adjustment if you have a hungry household, so be prepared to allow plenty of
snacking leading up to dinnertime.
Stop Sitting Around
For the most part, cravings kick in when you're sitting around not doing
anything. Instead of opening the door for boredom-induced snacking, find
something to do and do it well! Whether you decide to finally clean out the
kitchen pantry or want to get yourself involved in a crossword puzzle or putting
together a quilt, staying busy will help you sidestep any potential temptations
that arise in the late hours.
Decompress the Stress
Stress is a key reason you may find yourself eating when you know you
shouldn't. Stress can throw off your levels of certain hormones responsible for
food cravings, so staying away from stress can't be stressed enough. Beat stress
with controlled breathing, regular exercise, and sleep. If you're still feeling
stressed, take a close look at your life and reprioritize. You may be putting
too much emphasis on things that aren't important.
Have no control over your need for late-night foods? Give in, but give in
healthily by substituting your unhealthy ice cream and candy corn for carrot
sticks, celery sticks, or apple slices. Once you've made the switch, you may
have to take another step and toss the ranch dressing you're dipping it in.
Anything that diminishes the health perks of your food must be done away with.
Your waistline requires it!
More Mousey Research
A recent study gave more proof that late-night snacking is a bad idea for
anyone who wants to keep a tight reign on his or her waistline. During the
study, mice fed during the day (they normally eat at night) gained 7.8 percent
more weight than mice fed at the appropriate time. In other words, eat at the
right time, get the results you want.
Being thirsty or dehydrated is often mistaken for hunger, so getting some
water in your system may be just what your belly wants. So before you give in to
your hunger, you need to quench your thirst. Any time you find yourself faced
with an insatiable desire to snack on some late-night goodies, drink a couple
glasses of water and wait a few minutes. If your hunger is still growing after a
healthy dose of H2O, go for one of the healthy snacks mentioned above.
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