Eat Right at NightPosted: Jul 03 in Weight Management Strategies by Dr. Lazarus
Hours after dinner, the murmur of late-night television echoes through the house as you begin your transition from the couch to the bed. But before calling it a night, there is one more trip to the kitchen. What will it be tonight: A small bowl of ice cream, a handful of crackers, or maybe a warm mug of hot chocolate?
Nighttime snacking is pretty common, so this scene isn’t hard to imagine. The problem with these sorts of nighttime snacks is that they are usually indicative of overeating. The snack is often comforting and becomes a way to relax mentally before hitting the hay.
But even just a small snack every night can add up to trouble during your medical weight loss program. If your late-night snack isn’t budgeted into your calories for the day, then you may be undoing some of the calorie-cutting you worked so hard to manage hours before. Removing these excess calories from your daily intake might give your weight loss efforts a nice boost.
Here are a couple tips to overcome a nighttime snacking habit:
- Create a kitchen curfew: Set a time for the kitchen to be closed. Do your best to finish the dishes before this time so there is no reason anyone has to linger past the fridge or pantry past cut-off time.
- Spread out your meals: Instead of eating three large meals every day, consider switching to four or five smaller portioned meals. Eating something healthy every three hours or so may cut down your desire to snack.
- Make a good breakfast routine: Sometimes it is easier to avoid snacking at night if you know you’ll have a good breakfast in the morning. Find a healthy breakfast that you can look forward to and keep the ingredients around so you can have it daily.
- Step away from the TV: Televisions encourage mindless eating by distracting us from what we are munching on. Rule out eating in front of the TV in your home by creating a designated eating spot. This will stop you from eating while you are bored.
Have a look at your own snacking habits when you start your medical weight loss program and give yourself an honest evaluation. Many people snack in ways that are less than ideal. Find sources of extra calories in your diet and do your best to limit these. If a midnight snack is something you indulge in often, do your best to cut this habit from your daily routine.