Late night snacks are really easy to fall for, but these can have a devastating effect on your health. Your mind is capable of playing tricks with you and fool you into thinking that it is a good idea to eat those slices of pizza, ice cream or chocolate at late night. Clearly it’s not, and you’ll immediately realize it when you’re feeling bloated, uncomfortable and regretful.
This is the best way to destroy any kind of diet, and create a very unhealthy habit that becomes increasingly hard to abandon. Late-night snacking is even related to things such as acid reflux and erratic sleep, not to mention very real risks of diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol.
Late-night snacks are a bad thing that isn’t easy to dismiss, but here are some tips to avoid messing up your health and diet.
Eat healthy during the day
Make sure that you make a habit of eating healthy meals during the day, so that your body won’t feel like it needs some sort of “compensation” during the late hours. Eat properly during breakfast, lunch and dinner, so that you don’t feel the need for treats later that day. Make sure that lunchtime is the biggest meal of the day, making dinner the lightest as possible, in a way that you won’t resort to late night snacks. The saying that you should “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” isn’t quite true, as every meal is important, as long as you know how to eat healthy and properly time your meals. Oh, and stay away from alcohol as much as you can, as booze can dehydrate you and even make you crave salty and sugary snacks.
It’s very likely that you’re not hungry at all
It’s all about the mindset and how strong you are to resist your urges. You’re probably on a full stomach and you are watching TV, mildly bored, when suddenly your mind begins wandering and the first thing that you think of is food. Even worse, snacks. Some ice cream, a few slices of pizza that are sitting on the fridge, maybe some popcorn. All bad stuff for your health, even more so late at night. Try to convince yourself that you don’t need a snack and remember how it can be harmful for your health.
Don’t eat anything else after a certain time
Set yourself a food cutoff time and stick to it. Do not yield to temptation, fight off the urges and just leave that cake alone, your body will thank you the next morning. There are a few studies that recommend 8 p.m. as the best time to stop eating, but you may want to adjust this schedule according to your lifestyle and work habits. If 7 p.m. works for you, it’s also a good starting point. Choose the best option for you and stick to it for a few weeks, you will definitely feel a lot better and even get better sleep quality. Whatever you were craving during the nighttime will be right there on the fridge the next day, it won’t go away.
Always keep in mind that it is a bad habit
Late night snacks are bad for you, period. Sticking with it will only bring you health issues a while later, and even if you think that nothing happens to you or your body when you are young, you’re wrong – even younger people will suffer from bad sleep (nightmares included), acid reflux, weight gain and feel bloated, Oh, and what if we throw heart diseases into the mix, will this convince you of the dangers of late night snacks?
Drink water or tea instead of late-night snacking
If you really can’t convince your brain that you don’t need late night snacks, then you should trick it into thinking that it won the bargaining with some healthy treats. Water is the best that you can do, as it satiates you and makes that urge of eating go away, and most of the time you are actually thirsty instead of hungry. Caffeine-free herbal teas are also a good option, so pick your favorite and stick to the same one for a few days, as this is also a good option.
Try to be consistent with your meals
Three meals a day is the golden rule, and if you find it hard to stick to it, you should try to create a daily schedule and follow it as closely as possible. Ideally, you should have breakfast around 7 a.m., lunch at noon and dinner at 6 p.m. Obviously, go for the healthier food and you should feel satiated and ready to skip any late night urges.