Are you sneaking off to the fridge late at night? Can’t seem to get through your evening TV show without mindlessly munching on chips or some other snack? If you can’t seem to curb your cravings for sweet, starchy, and salty foods in the evening, the researchers at Harvard and Oregon Health and Science University may be able to help you.
The researchers suggest that our body’s circadian rhythm is the reason we reach for junk food late at night. Although this habit of late-night eating was beneficial for our ancestors, the only thing it’s doing for us is increasing the size of our waistlines. But how do we resist temptation when our bodies are calling out for it?
The researchers have offered up some suggestions to curb your late-night eating, and it begins with breakfast. It is known that breakfast eaters are less likely to be overweight or overeat later in the day. Therefore, if you want to cut back on your evening snack, stock up first thing in the morning with a healthy breakfast. Filling and healthy choices for breakfast include eggs, oatmeal, and avocado toast.
Another tip is to ensure your diet has adequate protein and fiber. Protein and fiber work to keep you feeling fuller for longer. The more protein and fiber in your daytime meals, the less likely you will be to reach for unhealthy snack options later in the evening.
Turn off the screens
Smartphone and TV use has also been linked to mindless snacking. The earlier in the night you power down, the less likely you will be to eat food mindlessly.
Another tip to combat your late-night snacking is to keep a food journal for a week or so. Jot down what you are snacking on and how you felt when you went to eat it. You may uncover some habits that may need to be changed to prevent late-night eating. For example, maybe you are bored at night, so you start to eat. Why not take up a hobby or head out for a walk instead? Examining your routine and mood can be another viable way to curb your late-night snacking.
Late-night snacking may seem harmless when you’re doing it, but if it’s a nightly routine, those extra pounds and inches will begin to add up very quickly. By adhering to these tips, you can have greater success in cutting down on your late-night eating habit.
Related: How food and diet influence sleep? Foods that steal a good night’s sleep