Ah, the downfall of every healthy eater: the late night snack attack. You make conscious eating choices all day, and then, at the end of a long day, you find yourself standing in the kitchen, reaching for potato chips, chocolate, wine, you name it. A snack before bed can’t hurt, right? It’s been a long day, and you’ve earned it. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
We hate to rain on your parade, but snacking later in the evening could be creating some nagging health issues. Studies have shown that eating later into the evening and night can lead to chronic weight gain, interrupted sleep, elevated glucose levels, and reduce the body’s ability to produce insulin. These can lead to a higher risk for more serious health problems down the road, like diabetes and heart disease.
So what’s a late-night snacker to do? How do you curb those after dinner cravings? Here are our top 4 tips for how to set a limit on your evening munchies.
Jo & Jules’ Top 4 Solutions for Late Night Snacking:
- Time your meals during the day: Make sure to finish eating your last meal of the day at least 2 hours before you plan to go to bed, so if your bedtime is 10 pm, make sure your dinner is finished by 8. This will allow your stomach and gut enough time to properly digest your food.
- Get those ZZZ’s: Get your beauty sleep! Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to more late night trips to the refrigerator. Aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night as often as possible.
- Start a better nighttime ritual: We often snack as a way to reward ourselves after a long day. Replace your post dinner wine, chips, or cookies with a different rewarding ritual, like a luxurious bath, a good book, or a favorite hobby.
- Avoid zoning out in front of the TV: Watching TV in the evening can lead to cravings and mindless snacking. Try to reduce nighttime TV time or replace your movie night popcorn with a glass of water or mug of herbal tea.
What are some of your favorite ways to avoid the nighttime snacking bug? Share with us in the comments below!