Do your cravings for junk food peak at night? Believe it or not, studies show that we are biologically hardwired to crave sweet, salty and starchy food late in the evening and at night. So it is only natural to feel the need to start munching at night.
Here are some tips to keep you from munching on those sugary snacks:
1. Eat well throughout the day: You will be more tempted to binge eat at night if you don’t eat well during the day. Eat well-balanced meals throughout the day. Include protein for dinner. Protein is satiating, which means it will keep you feeling full for longer, and you will have less hunger pangs post dinner.
2. Eat at the table: Avoid keeping food in your room. Once you are in the comfort of your bed, more often than not you will feel lazy to get up and make your way to the dining room.
3. Prioritize sleep: Lack of sleep prompts your body to increase the production of Ghrelin, the hormone that promotes hunger. At the same time, it suppresses the production of Leptin, the hormone that signals your brain to put the fork down. So, instead of watching your favourite late night television show for the 10th time, go to bed when you feel sleepy.
4. Go for water: Hydration is one way to cut down on the urge to over-eat. Often we confuse thirst for hunger and end up eating unhealthy snacks at night. Drink water or decaffeinated tea. It will relax you and you can fall asleep quicker.
5. Post a goal: If you have a reason to not eat then write it down and post it on the fridge or the cupboard with all the goodies. It could be a fitness goal or a diet goal, which motivates you to stay on track.
6. Have a plan B: If you are working late or have to be up for something at night, you will end up munching on unhealthy snacks. Plan for it beforehand and stock your fridge with healthier alternatives like fruits and vegetables. A small portion of a fruit is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
7. Indulge a little if you absolutely have to: We are human and it is okay to give into an occasional craving every now and then. But, limit your calories by controlling the portion. If its chocolate you like, then opt for dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate. It has antioxidants and will also satisfy your cravings.
*image courtesy medicaldaily.com