Control the Need to Crunch and Munch
Guess what, Snacking can help you lose weight, look good in your clothes, experience clarity and quell cravings. The issue arises when nighttime trips to the kitchen, in a total give me anything mode, may be sabotaging your best efforts during the day? Evening snacking can affect your weight, mood, sleep and focus. If you think that nighttime snacking is a problem for you, here are 11 simple tips to control the evening monster.
1. Don’t Skip Meals. Depriving yourself during the day almost guarantees you’ll be ravenous in the evening. Make sure to eat balanced meals and snacks throughout the day and eat most of your calories before 7 pm.
2. Allow Daily Indulgences. Along those lines, allow yourself a small treat during the day. If you have a sweet tooth, this will satisfy your craving and reduce the chance of a binge at night. Try melting dark chocolate into a bowl and dipping strawberries, raspberries and pineapple into it. You could also allow yourself a macaroon, Coconut Bliss, or some high quality dark chocolate each day. The thing is deprivation often sets off a cycle of anger and eating more than you normally would. Allow yourself the treat, enjoy it and move on.
3. Post Your Goals. Whether it’s to lose 15 pounds or to be strong for an upcoming race, make a relationship or job change, complete a detox or to try a HIIT class… write your goal and post it in places you’d normally go to find snacks. Or, clip a picture or inspirational quote that speaks to you wherever your trigger foods are stored. Physical, visual and auditory reminders are powerful. This serves as a powerful reminder of what you ultimately want for yourself.
4. Write It Down. When you keep a food journal, you become more mindful of what you are putting in your mouth. You’ll be less likely to want to create a new nighttime entry that lists a bag of chips if you see how well you ate all day long. Try any of these apps: mySymptoms Food & Symptom Tracker (2.99), TwoGrand – Photo food journal &health (free), or SlimGenics Food Journal (free) The act of writing down everything that crosses your lips is powerful in identifying whether your eating from hunger, boredom or habit. Most people have no idea how many times they eat to eat and what they actually consume in a day.
5. Clear the Pantry. If it’s not there, you can’t reach for it in the evening. Sweep the kitchen of temptation and either toss it or put it away in a separate cupboard (upon which you post your goals and vision of your ideal self)! Here are some Pantry/Fridge ideas that will not cause guilt, regret or immediate hunger again…
Grilled shrimp or shrimp cocktail
Grilled chicken salad
Turkey or Roast beef roll-ups
Frozen blueberries or grapes
Fresh pineapple (this is also good for your sex life and digestion)
Energy bites (see recipe below)
Almond butter on apples or slightly ripened bananas
Raw cheese and crackers
6. Keep Boredom at Bay. Feeling bored and mindless munching often go hand-in-hand, so plan engaging after-dinner activities that make you feel satisfied. Note that many TV commercials are food-focused and can trigger cravings, so shut off the tube to avoid the urge to snack. Try an old fashioned game night or find engaging activities with your partner that may or not involve finger foods.
7. Go for Water. Many times when you think you are hungry, you are actually thirsty, so reach for water before food and see if that quells your appetite. Try adding a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt to your water bottles and add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to give it some zing!
8. Suck on Candy. If a craving for sugar is strong, allow yourself to suck on a cinnamon stick, one piece of all-natural candy or chew a piece of Xylitol sweetened gum to keep your mouth occupied. The distraction will fool your body into thinking it’s getting a treat that’s much bigger.
9. Brush Your Teeth. You’d be surprised at how this works! When your mouth feels minty fresh, there’s often no desire to muck it up with food.
10. Curb your cravings with Rockin’ Wellness, a Superfoods shake that satisfies cravings and urges all while helping to balance sugar levels and stop the need to munch in it’s tracks. Feel free to use this link to try it out…Warning, you will become addicted and send me a Thank you note.
11. Plan Your Snack. If despite your best efforts, late-night eating persists, have a plan in place. Try enjoying a few gluten-free crackers with almond butter, so you don’t just reach for the first thing that calls to you. By doing this, you can transition to healthier options that become a habit!
1 cup dry oatmeal (Bob’s RedMill GF are good)
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup chunky almond butter
1/4 cup ground chia seeds
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix together and refrigerate for an hour
Shape into 1 inch balls and put in covered container with wax paper so they don’t stick- freeze and keep in freezer
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