Do you have a desire to attack the fridge or freezer after dinner? If yes, today’s topic is for you. Late-night snacking is a common problem and can have some undesirable effects. If you eat too many calories, eating too much at midnight can cause weight gain and digestive problems like heartburn and acid reflux.
So if you’re interested in finding out how to curb that late-night snacking keep reading. I am going to share 8 practical and effective tips. Let’s get started.
1. Make sure you eat enough calories throughout the day
There are many reasons for late-night snacking and one of them is not eating enough calories throughout the day. So if you skip meals all day and you do not eat enough calories during your other meal, you may not get enough calories throughout the day.
What happens then? Your body is asking you for those calories at night and therefore you are really hungry at night because you do not eat enough during the day and have snacking problems at night – we make very bad decisions at night.
So my advice is if you do not eat enough throughout the day and for this reason, you take snacks at night, then change things and try to get enough calories throughout the day. Spread it out throughout the day, try not to skip meals, and hopefully fix the midnight snacking problem if it is the cause of your midnight hunger.
2. Eat a balanced meal for dinner
Eating a balanced diet is really important. When we eat a balanced diet we stay longer – we get satisfaction and we reduce the likelihood of snacks. I know because it really works. In my younger years, I ate very little breakfast because my diet was never balanced, but now that I have balanced my meals I don’t really need to snack. I think it really works is not the craving for snacks.
So you need to make sure you have enough protein, enough healthy fats, and carbohydrates as well as enough fiber to balance your diet. When you have enough protein, fiber, and fat, you will feel full of it for a long time.
3. Avoid a long gap between dinner and bedtime
A break between dinner and bedtime is recommended. Having a short break will help you reduce your digestive problems like acid reflux. Some recommend 2 hours, some recommend 3 hours. I like 3 Hours.
So I have my dinner around 7 30 max 8 and I go to bed around 10 30 11 and it was great for me. I do not feel the need for snacking at midnight but if you are having dinner at 6 o’clock and you go to bed at 1? This is a really big gap. When you have such a big difference, chances are you need snacks, and when you are about to insist on midnight snacking.
So my advice is to see if you can reduce that gap. I know this is not always possible. If this is not possible, make sure you are making junk food free snacking. Take snacks that are really healthy .. so remember that you know what you are going to eat.
4. Avoid blue light from devices in the evening
Now you may be wondering what the blue light has to do with midnight snacking. I assure you that there is a connection.
So blue light is the light emitted from devices like our phone screen, our laptop screen, computer screen, TV screen. All kinds of screens emit blue light and the blue light problem is that it makes our brain think that It is still during the day and because of that our bodies do not produce sleep hormones well and it is difficult to sleep well and we cannot sleep well when we have sleep disorders.
What happens when we do not get proper sleep? It affects our appetite control and we burn calories. So if you are dealing with snacking in the middle of the night it may be due to exposure to blue light in the evening. There is something to try to see if you can reduce your blue light exposure and if it helps you.
What can you do to reduce your blue light exposure? You can apply blue light filters on most of the devices available on your device. So it ends with a little yellow cast. It’s not very attractive, but I think it helps. It helps you fall asleep. And other options also include orange glasses. I don’t really wear them but orange glasses are available and they cancel out that blue light for you.
5. Have some liquids before having a snack
So if you feel that the urge to snack dominates you, try to get some fluids first. Many times I think we are not really hungry when we are having snacks. It’s like we get out of boredom, so we turn that boredom into something to drink.
So like a cup of tea is very good. You can sit for 15 minutes with that cup of tea and slow down and after those 15 minutes you really do not need snacking or if you do not like tea, drinking a little lime water in the evening is a good thing.
I like it a lot especially in summer, in summer I think it is a very good thing and I find that after having some liquids my craving to snack is usually gone. So if you are getting rid of boredom rather than hunger, this tip will be useful for you.
6. Choose nutrient-dense snacks if you do decide to snack
If you’re really hungry and you are eating carefully and you are eating something that is high in nutrients now there is nothing wrong with snacking at midnight, but in general, the end is that we are not eating carefully. In front of the TV and we have junk food, avoid doing so and take nutritious dense snacks instead.
So what can you do as a nutrient-dense snack? I want to give you a favorite example, which includes some nuts with dried fruit or fresh fruit.
7. Manage your day-to-day stress better
When we are stressed we make poor decisions when it comes to food. When you stress you go for donuts candy making cookies. So if you are a person who eats in stress and eats snacks late at night due to stress, it is time to take a look at your stress management and see if you can do anything to manage your stress well.
8. Avoid keeping temptations at home
If you do not have junk food at home, you are not going to eat it, but if it is at home it will be in the cupboard. It is very difficult to prevent it if it is available. So if you are struggling with a midnight breakfast, avoid bringing temptation into your home.