Eating at night is often an unconscious habit. You probably don’t even think about it. The late night snack while you’re watching your favorite show on TV. Staying up late on the computer munching on pretzels or M&Ms. This late night eating can pack on the pounds. Even if you’re working your tush off at work and taking the stairs, it may not be enough. Kick the late night munching and trim your waist by exercising smart and at the right times.
You likely know working out in the morning offers the best benefits from working out. Working out in the morning revs up your metabolism as soon as you get out of bed and keeps your metabolism going throughout the day, allowing your body to burn more calories. Getting your exercise in the morning also helps you start out and stay energized throughout the day. You may also notice your making healthier eating choices throughout the day when you start your day in the gym. It doesn’t have to be a 4 am shluck to the gym. Get up just 30 minutes earlier and take a walk around the neighborhood. Get a neighbor to walk with you.
You may not be taking a lunch break, but you should be. Exercise on your lunch break can help you be more productive when you get back to your desk and more likely to make healthier food choices throughout the day. When you find yourself reaching for a late night snack, reach for a piece of fruit instead of your favorite salty snack food.
Some fitness experts give working out in the evening a bad wrap, but you have to take advantage of when you have time to fit in your exercise routine. Working out in the evening can go either way for sleep. You may be more energized or may feel a little worn out when you get home. Evening workouts can help you avoid eating at night because you may not be hungry directly after your workout. If you are hungry after your workout, grab a high protein, low-fat snack to replenish your calories and fill you up for the night.
The key to putting the nighttime munchies at bay with exercise is to stick to your routine, so that you make healthier eating choices throughout the day. This will lead to healthier choices in the evening and less late night snacking. If you’re snacking from habit or cravings, work toward keeping your hands and mouth busy with gum and reading or other favorite hobbies. Watch out for game nights and other social activities that may encourage your night eating. If you bake, don’t leave the treats in a place where you walk by every time you enter the kitchen. You can come up with clever ways to keep your hand out of the cookie jar and nip night eating.