Sugar cravings late at night are common, but giving in to them can be devastating to a diet. Cravings can occur for a number of reasons, including fluctuations in blood sugar and hormone levels, stress, nutritional deficiency and emotional upsets. Here's how you can curb your late night sugar cravings.
1) Eat a Diet High in Fiber
Soluble dietary fiber, such as that found in fruits, helps keep your blood sugar levels stable to reduce the sugar cravings that can occur when your blood sugar levels drop suddenly. Insoluble dietary fiber, such as that found in vegetables like carrots, can't be digested. It helps keep your stomach feeling full longer, and it also supports intestinal health.
To fight late night sugar cravings, make your evening meal especially high in fiber. Eat a diet based on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, as well as some lean meats and low fat dairy products. Drink plenty of water at dinnertime and throughout the day to reduce feelings of hunger and help the fiber you eat do its job.
2) Eat More Frequently Throughout the Day
Keep your blood sugar levels stable and reduce sugar cravings by eating more frequently throughout the day. Eat breakfast no later than an hour and half after you get out of bed, and have a healthy snack, such as a piece of fruit or some yogurt, every two or three hours throughout the day. Plan snacks that are high in fiber.
3) Eat Dinner Later in the Evening
Eat your evening meal a little later in the evening, so that you're more likely to feel full right up until the time you go to bed. Fight sugar cravings by planning a late night healthy snack. Choose a snack that you can stretch out for a while, like whole wheat crackers or popcorn; you'll eat less, and you'll be more satisfied because eating slowly makes you feel as if you've eaten more.
4) Don't Bring Sugary Snacks Home
You can't give in to sugar cravings if you don't have any sugary snacks at home. Bring home only healthy snacks, and you'll have no choice but to eat them.
Substitute healthy but still sweet snacks like raisins or other dried fruit, or even fresh fruit or honeyed yogurt for your favorite sweet snacks. Fruits contains natural sugars that may help to curb your sugar cravings late at night, and the soluble fiber found in fruits can help ensure that your blood sugar levels won't drop during the night.
5) Occupy Your Mind
Boredom is one of the foremost psychological reasons why people have sugar cravings and even food cravings in general. Keep late night sugar cravings at bay by finding something to do with yourself. Take up a relaxing hobby that stimulates your mind, like crossword puzzles or knitting. Join a book club, take a class or find some other way to enjoy a few nights out of the house each week, so you're less likely to get bored when you stay in.