I’m sure you’ve all heard of the famous Cookie Monster whose ultimate goal is to hunt down and eat all cookies in range. Similar to the Cookie Monster is the Late-Night Snack Monster! Of course, the goal of this monster is to munch on any food item in sight when the rest of the family is peacefully sleeping. Wait, does this remind you of someone? Does this remind you of yourself? If it does, then read on to learn how to gain control over the Late-Night Snack Monster.
• There’s no such thing as stress-eating
Remove that thought from your head! People tend to over-eat when they’re emotionally unstable or under a lot of stress, thinking that eating will fill their tummies and make everything okay. However, this isn’t true. Snacking during the night will not make your boyfriend or girlfriend return and it will definitely not complete that assignment or task for you. Stop relying on food to make you feel better!
• Don’t let boredom strike
It’s true that you are more likely to eat when you are bored*. Distract yourself and do something productive to keep yourself busy. Clean that cupboard of yours that you haven’t touched in ages, help out your mom in the kitchen or just watch a television series! Anything that keeps you busy!
• Consume foods rich in fiber throughout the day
Mirror mirror on the wall, who keeps us the fullest of them all? “Fiber,” whispers the mirror. Yes, it’s true! Fiber keeps you full and satisfied meaning your craving for snacks will decrease! Some great foods rich in fiber are broccoli, raspberries, black beans and avocados.
• Don’t keep junk food or ready-made processed food in the house
When you snack, you are most likely to do it on junk food that is readily available and at your disposal. After all, who has the energy or motivation to get up to cook something at night? So, the next time you go to the store, make sure to leave those chips on aisle 5!
• Eat small portions frequently throughout the day and don’t skip a meal
This will keep you satiated for longer and curb any cravings you have for late night snacks!
• Learn why late-night snacking isn’t good for you
Once you know how late-night snacking affects your body, you are less likely to do it and more likely to keep your cravings under control. Our body has an internal clock that is designed to burn more calories and be more active during the day. Therefore, snacking later at night will likely cause you to gain weight as your body takes longer to metabolize the same amount of fat during the night than it would during the day.
• Make it a routine to brush and floss your teeth every day immediately after you consume your dinner
Not only will it help fight bad breath but it will also curb your cravings. You’ll also develop the habit of going to bed with clean teeth. Therefore, you will likely avoid late night snacking because the routine of brushing and flossing again will make you lazy. (Who knew laziness could be used to your own advantage one day?)
• Set a calorie limit for yourself
According to your age and requirements, set out a calorie plan for yourself and be sure to consume those calories by the time you have finished dinner. This will also help stave off those late night cravings in an effort to not go over your calorie limit.
• Be easy on yourself for the first week or so
Accept that you cannot change your snacking habit immediately. *Give yourself time to adjust and accept that you might fail a time or two.* It’s okay, every day is a new day and a chance to try again.
• Inform those around you
Whether you live in the same room as your sister or share your room with friends let them know that you’ve decided to stop snacking late at night. Ask them to help you avoid snacking late at night. Also, ask them to support you by not snacking late at night in front of you to help you avoid the temptation.
• Keep water or tea without caffeine nearby
Whenever you feel the urge to snack, try to calm them down by drinking water or herbal tea. The downside is that you might have to get up to go to the bathroom a few times in the night but it’s definitely worth it and you’ll need it less and less as you learn how to control your snacking habit.
If, after you’ve tried to minimize your snacking, keep in mind the following when you do snack:
• Keep snacks at 150 calories or less!
Check how many calories your snack contains and portion it accordingly!! Consuming healthy fruits and vegetables will satisfy your cravings without a lot of calories.
Hopefully these handy tips will help prevent late-night snacking! However, if you find that you are really struggling, please consult your doctor or a nutritionist for additional support. Happy Eating (during the day, of course)!
Here is a healthy late night snack:
Hummus & Carrots
● 1/2 cup baby carrots
● 2 tbsp hummus
123 calories, 6g fat, 13g carbs, 2.5g sugar, 4.5g protein