One of the most frustrating cycles people fall into is believing that they are doing everything right during the day and then eating late night. Do you feel like there’s a need to snack at the end of your day?
Not that snacking is bad or even eating late at night is always a bad thing, but overeating every single night. Even just feeling ravenous once the sun sets can stall weight loss.
A lot of times there are simple reasons that this nighttime hunger occurs, and I’m not talking about willpower. As the day ends we should starting to wind down, rest, and prepare our bodies for sleep. We spend most of the day eating and night gives our bodies a break from digestion to recover and repair.
Here are tips to help control hunger and let the body rest at night:
You’re not eating enough protein.
Are you getting enough protein? If you’re feeling terribly hungry every night then there’s a chance that you’re not consuming enough, especially at dinner. This macronutrient keeps us full and satisfied. Filling up on protein at night can help keep hunger at bay, and allow the body to rest. How often do we hear about turkey and tryptophan, putting us to sleep?
You’re stressed out.
A stressed mind and body will often turn to food. If you’re feeling stressed it may be hard to wind down at night, leading to you getting a second wind- potentially leading to a craving for more food. If feeling stressed, try to find a way to relax as evening falls. Pull from yoga take a few deep slow breathes will help. Also lie on your back with your legs up the wall for 10-15 minutes and you’ll be amazed at how relaxed you will feel.
You’re blood sugar is imbalanced.
While ensuring that you’re eating enough protein, also consume the right amount of healthy fat throughout the day. The body needs a proper balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates in order to keep blood sugar levels in line. Focusing solely on carbohydrates can lead to blood sugar spikes and drops. Keeping blood sugar in line will help any dips in blood sugar that will leave you feeling hungry.
You’re consuming caffeine in the afternoon.
Obviously caffeine can inhibit your ability to rest and sleep. Caffeine can also have an impact on your blood sugar levels, which can lead to hunger cravings at night. Try cutting out caffeine by mid afternoon.
Afternoon sweet tooth.
Consuming a sweet sugary snack in the afternoon, can lead to craving something sweet after dinner. Try switching your afternoon snack to something more satisfying. Look for something with protein and healthy fat. Think a small handful of nuts. Nut butter can be spread on a piece of fruit or added to a protein smoothie. If you eat dairy try some Greek yogurt with cinnamon.
You’re consuming alcohol regularly.
Alcohol, whether it’s beer, liquor, or wine, can affect sleeping patterns. Those drinks can quickly lead to snacking as well, especially late at night when you’re susceptible to mindless eating. I know I always crave more carbs and sweets after a night of drinking.