Got giant food cravings late at night? You rummage through the pantry to find what is calling your name. You want to keep eating but you don't know how to stop... you know it's not good for you on a daily basis. But... it just KEEPS HAPPENING.
Like me, after dinner, you might be thinking... I want something sweet, right? For example, I really enjoy cookies, ice cream, and brownies. If I didn't have one of those, I was reaching for a chocolate bar.
So, EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT I was eating something sweet even though I knew it wasn't good for me to keep doing this.
I used to feel like this all the time and sometimes I still do. I'm not perfect, I'm a human. And I'm okay with that.
Why Should I Stop Eating Late?
Now, I'm not saying you have to stop eating late forever. What I AM saying is you should stop doing it daily. First, let's dive into what happens when you eat late at night:
it decreases your body's metabolic rate
your body won't regulate appropriately nor will it be able to because it can't keep up with what you are putting in your body
the body becomes inefficient at digesting and processing food
Next, let's talk about what happens when you stop eating late at night daily:
it boosts your body's metabolic rate
it helps your body to regulate itself
teaches your body to be more efficient in digesting and processing food
will help you feel better if you keep doing it
helps maintain and possibly lose weight
Finally, why does this happen:
Most of us eat sugar at night. When you eat a lot of sugar and carbs at night, your body will start to ignore the signals from your brain telling you that you're full. Your pancreas has to work overtime to try to keep up with the things you are putting in your body. Any glucose that the pancreas can't store is stored as fat.
This results in low metabolic rates, inappropriate regulation, and inefficient digesting. All of these things can cause weight gain, bloating, gas, a number of things you don't want. Because... it will make you feel bad.
No one wants to feel like crap. Period.
How To Eat a Better Dinner and Stop Eating Late
Too many carbs for dinner? You're going to want a snack later. Too much- processed food? You are going to want a snack later. Didn't get enough healthy fats in your meal? You're going to want a snack later.
Eating a balanced meal is key here. When you eat this way, you will feel satisfied. Most importantly, when you feel satisfied guess what goes away? Yep. Cravings.
When I say balanced meals, I mean lean proteins, veggies, and healthy fats.
For example, here's a list of balanced meals:
Bacon-wrapped burgers (no bread) with an egg on top and avocado on the side. Pair this with vegetables cooked in grass-fed butter.
A 4 oz filet topped with grass-fed butter paired with vegetables and avocado on the side
Crockpot roast with cauliflower mashed potatoes with bacon, grass-fed butter, and green onions on the top.
There are so many options.
If you have problems with boredom after dinner, write down what time you will eat dinner and what time you will stop eating. For example, I will eat dinner at 7 pm and I will stop eating at 8. I will eat dinner at 6 pm and I will stop eating at 7. You are telling yourself, "I am not allowed to eat anything after these times." Write it down, stick it on post-it notes, whatever helps you remember that you need to stop eating at this time.
Nutrition Coaching Help
If you are ready to eat a more balanced meal or if you are struggling with ideas on how to make a balanced meal, look to a coach and an accountability partner at At The Core Lifestyle.
At The Core Lifestyle can help you come up with meals in an easy way and hold you accountable for what you are putting in your body. They give you a crash course on the basics of nutrition so you have the fundamentals first. Then, they give you methods on how to take control of your eating habits. They give nutrition guidance and recommendations which is perfect for figuring out how to balance a meal so you don't have those late-night cravings. Most importantly, you will get continuous support and coaching from an extremely uplifting human.
Use Your Pearly Whites To Help You
If you are struggling with eating late and how to stop it, brush your teeth.
Hopefully, we all brush our teeth at night anyway. But, you would just be doing it earlier.
Sometimes there are nights where your dinner is not as satisfying as you wanted it to be. Sometimes cravings just won't stop. We all go through this. However, the difference is those who try to avoid it and those who give in.
When you brush your teeth, it sends a signal to your brain that it is time to get ready for bed. This literally happens.
Think about it... when you were little your parents or guardians told you to brush your teeth before you got into bed. You have been doing this for YEARS. It is ingrained in us that we are supposed to go to bed after I brush my teeth.
Use this to your advantage. When you brush your teeth, it is time for bed... not time to eat. Say this out loud or to yourself if you need to. "After I brush my teeth, it is time to get ready for bed."
And you don't actually have to go to bed. You could get ready for bed. For example, I like to read, do my journaling, and do my infrared lighting. Just do those things instead. The things you would normally do to get ready for bed.
Plus, eating after you brush your teeth is gross. You are mixing your toothpaste flavor with whatever you decide to eat. And... it's not going to taste very good. My face is cringing as I write this.
If a late-night snack is something you are really having a hard time letting go of, it's okay! Your world will not end. But...here's what you can do to make better options. Eat a snack with no sugar. Low glycemic sugar options are Swerve, erythritol, or xylitol.
Any Lily's dark chocolate bar- go to the link and search Lily's :)
Lily's Reese cups
Rebel ice cream
Bulletproof collagen protein bars
Swerve Sweets cake mixes
Low glycemic fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, or cranberries
Baked goods that you made at home with either Swerve, erythritol, or xylitol
Just be smart about your choices :)
The Bottom Line
We all have these cravings at night. Whether you choose to try to avoid it or eat smarter late-night snacks are up to you. Try these three things to help you feel better and give your body the benefits it needs. And check out At The Core Lifestyle for more in-depth information and to start your nutritional journey to feeling better.
Your Certified Brain Health Coach,
Owner of SustainaBRAIN