Eating late in the evening or at night can prove to be troublesome in a number of ways. Having a full stomach or ingesting sugary or caffeine-filled foods late at night can keep you awake and disturb your sleep habits. Snacking all evening can undermine all of your efforts during the day to stick to a healthy diet, when you’re on a weight loss or a healthy lifestyle plan. You have to train yourself to stop eating late in order to avoid these complications.
Make Sure You Have a Filling, Healthy Supper
Fight the temptation to continue eating late into the evening by making sure you get adequate nutrition throughout the day. On your daily dietary plan should be a balanced, filling dinner with portions that will fill you up without causing you to overeat. However, make sure that you’re not tempted to overeat at dinner to avoid snacking throughout the evening, because this behavior can lead to its own complications.
Set out Your Evening Snack
You shouldn’t deny yourself any food in the evening, because forcing yourself to avoid eating altogether could cause you to binge and feel guilty later. However, you don’t want to eat food that will keep you awake and you don’t want to eat too much food when you’re eating late. The best way to avoid this is to set out your evening snack and stick to the decision that you’ll eat only one snack.
The best snacks for the evening depend on your individual dietary needs, but may include:
- Whole-grain crackers and a little hummus or low-fat cheese
- Fruit (don’t eat too much fruit, though, because it’s high in natural sugars)
- Whole-grain bread or pita with thin layer of no-sugar-added peanut butter or veggie puree
Once you’ve set out your evening snack, wait at least a couple of hours after dinner before you enjoy your food. You want the snack to come a few hours before bedtime and you want to make sure that you digest dinner first.
Don’t Go into the Cupboard
Tell yourself that the cupboard is off limits once you’ve set out your evening snack. If you really don’t trust yourself, you can start your training program to stop eating late by using child safety locks on the cupboard door. Although you’ll of course easily be able to remove the locks, they can serve as a reminder of your promise to yourself to stick to the new eating habits. Taking the time to remove the locks should be time you ask yourself if starting up those bad eating habits again is really worth the consequences.
Distract Yourself from Eating
If you allow yourself a healthy evening snack, your hunger cravings may be satiated. Chances are, though, that if you’re used to eating late a lot, you may still experience some hunger even with your snack. Or you may be hungry too early in the evening to justify having your snack quite yet. To avoid hunger driving you to break your new routine, distract yourself. Early in the evening is a great time to exercise because you can work off your dinner and keep your mind off of your snack. Later in the evening, watch a movie, play a game or read a book. Just try not to think about food.