No matter if you have late meetings, school events or other issues that keep you home, you may have to get used to eating late. Postponing your evening meal for a long period of time can not only make you feel very hungry, but can also wreck havoc on your diet. In order to achieve optimal results, be sure to do the following.
1. Avoid the Cupboards
One of the best tips you can include in your diet if you often eat late is to avoid foods which are kept in the cupboard. No matter if you are actually eating an all-out meal or simply are looking for something to snack on, foods that are kept in the cupboards are often rich in simple carbohydrates, which contain high amounts of sugar and can contribute to weight gain. Similarly, foods which are kept in the cupboard are often packed or canned, and therefore are high in dietary sodium. While dietary sodium does not contain any calories in and of itself, it can contribute to water retention, thereby causing weight gain.
2. Don’t Watch TV
Another great tip if you often eat late is to avoid sitting in front of the television during meals. Research has found that individuals who watch TV or are engaged in another type of distracting activity during meals can eat more than twice the amount of calories as those who are more engaged in their meals. By concentrating on what you are eating when you are eating it, you will not only be able to recognize the signs of fullness earlier, but will also have a better idea of how many calories you consumed.
3. Plan Ahead
Next, be sure to plan ahead in order to achieve optimal results. This means coming up with meal plans well ahead of the time that you will actually eat them. Every Sunday, sit down and try to visualize how your week will run. Determine which nights you will be able to eat at a regular time, and which nights you will eat at a later time than normal. Try to go shopping for the nights that you will be in late. Purchase ingredients for meal that can either be made ahead of time and stored, or can be created on the night of the late-night dinner with minimal amounts of work.
4. Track Your Results
Finally, track your results in order to find out what foods do and don’t work for you and your diet. Keep a journal that states not only your current weight, but also what you ate at your late-night meals, what time you ate, and how your weight responded to the meal. Evaluate the journal after a few weeks. By this time, you should be able to see some trends in regards to how the foods you eat late at night affect your diet.