We’ve all been there; it’s getting late, but you just need a snack before bed. You head into the kitchen to see what the options are. Of course you want something quick that doesn’t require lots of preparation. You find an open bag of chips and settle in on the couch
This is really common. Sometimes it’s a late-night craving and sometimes the bedtime munchies are due to having an earlier-than-usual dinner. Unfortunately, by this time most of us are tired and want something quick and simple to satisfy our hunger. This often means processed, pre-packaged foods that are high in sodium, sugar, fat, and calories.
And these types of foods contribute to bloating, unwanted weight gain, and irregular bowel movements. So, if you need to get over your habit of late-night snacking, read on!
Here are 5 tips to Cure your late-night munchies:
1) Brush your teeth right after dinner: This one is simple; once you’ve brushed your teeth for the night, you won’t want to dirty your mouth with more food, just to have to brush them again before you finally lay down for bed. Brushing your teeth shortly after dinner is a great way for us lazy folk to force ourselves to say no to those pre-bedtime Oreos.
2) Drink a lot of water: The flavor of dinner lingering on your tongue can cause you to crave other foods – if you had a very savory dinner, you may start craving sweets as a “dessert”, or if you ended your meal with something sweet, those salty chips in the pantry may start sounding really tasty. Drink lots of water to clear your palette so you don’t leave your mouth searching for the next satisfying flavor.
3) Stay busy up until bed: Lounging in front of the computer for hours, while AMAZING, is a huge trigger for many people to start snacking on junk food. If you find yourself reaching for snacks after you’ve been sitting in front of your screen for a while, try doing something to keep your body busy and your mind off food – do a little tidying up, try a hobby that you haven’t done in awhile (or try a new one!), or read a book or a blog.
4) Break up your routine: This ties in very closely with number 3 – sometimes, our routines become triggers for unhealthy habits. If you find yourself falling into a rut that typically leads to nighttime snacking (for instance, watching Netflix or sitting at your computer), try something different. Go for an evening walk or use your computer in a room further away from the kitchen.
5) Prepare healthy snacks: Heck, sometimes you just have the munchies! If you’re going to be snacking at night, it may as well be something healthy. A whole grain pita with hummus, a cheese stick and celery, or some fresh veggies are great options! Focus on snacks that are low in sugar and simple carbs – think whole grains, lean proteins, and veggies.
What are your tips to avoid late-night munchies? Let us know in the comments!