Late night cravings can ruin your diet, and those extra calories are hard to burn off. These tips can help you fight late night cravings as you use FitDay to monitor your weight loss progress by tracking your calorie consumption and the nutritional content of your meals.
1. Eat Lots of Fiber
High fiber foods are low in calories, but keep you feeling full longer. Eat a diet rich in fiber to control cravings and late night hunger. Soluble fiber stabilizes blood sugar levels so that you don't wind up craving sugary treats at night, and insoluble fiber fills your stomach to reduce hunger pains. Eat a fiber rich evening meal that contains plenty of non starchy vegetables, and drink plenty of water throughout the day as well.
2. Stay Busy
One reason late night cravings occur is because you're unwinding after a long day, and looking for a low stress way to occupy yourself. Take up a hobby, like knitting, reading, meditation, jigsaw puzzles or any relaxing activity that keeps your mind occupied and off snacking. Try to get out of the house for a few evenings every week; take a class or join a book club. If you're not at home and feeling bored, you'll be less likely to snack.
3. Eat Dinner Later in the Evening
Most people eat dinner fairly early in the evening, at six or seven o'clock. The problem with this is that it leaves you more likely to get hungry and start having cravings late at night. Push dinner back an hour or two, and you'll find yourself ready for bed before you have a chance to start craving a snack.
4. Plan a Healthy Nighttime Snack
One way to resist gorging yourself on sugary or fatty foods late at night is to plan a healthy late night snack. Bulk vegetable snacks, like carrot sticks, are high in fiber to fill you up; a high protein snack like low fat yogurt will also help you resist sugary treats like cake and cookies. Choose a snack like popcorn, that's low in fat and high in fiber, but can also be eaten slowly; you'll feel fuller with less food and you'll be able to indulge your impulse to snack for longer, without consuming too many extra calories.
5. Eat Regularly throughout the Day
Eating regular, healthy meals and snacks throughout the day helps to control your blood sugar levels so you're less likely to crave sugar and fats. Base your diet on complex carbohydrates like whole grains, but make sure you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products and lean meats. Eat breakfast within 90 minutes of waking up, and have small, healthy mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks to keep your blood sugar levels stable in between meals.
6. Only Keep Healthy Foods at Home
The best way to avoid eating sugary, fatty snacks is not to bring them home. If you only have healthy snacks in the house, you'll be forced to eat only healthy snacks.