How to Stop Snacking at Night

I actually ate a large bowl of this chocolate ice cream the night I took this picture… whoops!

I am trying to get serious about my fitness and I keep hearing “You can’t out exercise a bad diet” which I will admit I have been trying to do. I have no problems working out regularly, I enjoy it. My biggest problem is eating- ESPECIALLY eating at night. I will be doing awesome all day but the minute I get home I crave sweets and junk.

According to a great article on  Health.com, before electricity and all-night diners, we humans used to spend a long stretch every night without food passing our lips. “Staying up and eating late is a very recent phenomenon in human history,” says Satchin Panda, PhD, associate professor in the Regulatory Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. So our metabolisms are hard wired to expect a nightly fast, which is a key time for your body to burn fat.

“Eating only between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., and then not eating for at least 12 hours, should give your body enough time to burn all of the stored glycogen plus some fat every night.” (Read full article here)

I know that if I am serious about weight loss this needs to stop so I’ve Googled a few tips on how to try to stop it.

  • Don’t keep junk food in the house. This is a classic that I learned from my mother. If we kept junk in the house, we ate it. If you have to leave the house to get junk, over half the time you decide it’s not worth the effort (especially in the snow) and you don’t bother. This has been made easier by living in the small town I live in. No fast food restaurants, only a gas station.
  • Keep healthy snacks around. If you open the fridge craving junk and all you see are fruits and veggies, you’ll settle for what you have. One of my favourite evening snacks is mango. I don’t know if that is exactly the best option as it is sugary, but better than ice cream!
  • Drink up. Grab a glass of water or sip on herbal tea.
  • Pick an eating deadline. I have made my eating deadline 8 p.m. and it’s amazing how easy it is to stop eating if you have a hard and fast deadline like this!
  • Distract yourself. I read this one a lot. They say watching TV makes you crave a snack which makes sense. My only problem is evening TV time is my cuddle time with the fiancée  I love that couple of hours where we snuggle up and talk and enjoy a movie or a tv show.
  • Break the Habit. Remind yourself when you start to get hungry that it just from the habit you’ve formed and like smoking, you need to tough it out.

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