How many times have you sat on the couch watching TV, mindlessly munching before suddenly realizing that the entire bag of chips or box of cookies is gone?
You realize it’s not helping your weight loss efforts any, so WHY does this keep happening to you?
Fortunately, there are 4 things you can start doing to resist the urge to snack on unhealthy foods at night so that you can get your weight where you want it to be.
1. Eat a nutritious breakfast
You’ve probably heard it from me, and many others before, but eating a nutritious breakfast is so important, it can’t be said enough. Those who don’t are much more likely to be overweight.
When you skip breakfast, you’re more likely to consume fewer healthy foods like fruits and veggies, and more likely to choose unhealthy options such as sweets and soft drinks.
Be sure your morning meal is made up of healthy fats, protein and fiber. That way, you'll feel fuller longer, and have more energy to get through the day. You’ll also be less likely to have the urge to mindlessly snack in the evening.
Here's a quick formula for putting together a great breakfast:
If you’re short on time, whip up a protein smoothie.
Just add a cup of water, a banana or a half-cup of berries, one tablespoon of almond butter, two scoops of protein powder, a handful of spinach and a half- cup of ice into your blender, and voila! Instant breakfast.
Another good option is scrambling up two free range eggs with organic baby spinach in a tablespoon of coconut oil. Add a side of fresh fruit and you'll be set – and, it only takes minutes to throw together!
2. Exercise instead
If munching on snacks while watching TV has become part of your regular routine, consider changing things up by exercising instead. You might practice a few yoga poses, do some planks or push-ups.
Just keep yourself moving to prevent the urge to indulge in something your body really doesn’t need.
3. Eat lighter later in the day
Try to eat your heavier meals at breakfast and lunch, and go lighter for dinner. That not only ensures that you’ll want a good breakfast the next morning, but you’ll sleep better too.
Skipping late night snacks means that there will be less carbs in your bloodstream, allowing for the production of sleep-inducing hormones.
While snacking on unhealthy foods should be avoided, consuming a healthy protein snack in the evening can prevent hunger pangs just before bed that can cause you to reach for something you probably shouldn’t.
Adding fresh fruit to plain Greek yogurt or enjoying a tasty protein shake are great ways to indulge your sweet tooth after dinner without derailing your diet.
4. Hit the sack earlier
This may seem like a no brainer, but if you’re sound asleep, you’re not going to be munching away, right?!
Going to bed earlier will help you to get a better night’s sleep too – and, numerous studies have linked a lack of sleep with weight gain.
As I’ve mentioned before, sleep affects the production of leptin, a hormone that tells the brain it's time to stop eating, and ghrelin, which triggers those hunger pangs.
If you aren’t getting your ZZZs, the body produces more ghrelin and less leptin – not a good thing when you’re trying to lose weight!
Yours in Health,