People often experience nighttime cravings due to various reasons such as poor daytime eating habits, primarily arising from stressful work or school schedules. For other people, a food craving could signify deep emotional troubles or hectic work schedules as the person subconsciously perceives the nighttime snack to be a self-medication tool.
Across the spectrum, however, people affected by this phenomenon crave junk foods. Such diet options are processed at a slow pace as one sleeps and end up being stored as fat in the body. Consequently, such people increasingly gain weight without realizing it. However, it is imperative to note that it is possible to beat such cravings at night if one understands the tricks discussed in this article.
Here’s how to beat food cravings:
One of the most significant problems with night snacking is that people tend to opt for unhealthy snacks to satisfy their cravings. In a bid to overcome a sugar craving at night, it is advisable to have a small bowl of yogurt or a small bunch of grapes instead. Fruits are excellent snacking options, and their natural sweetness tends to curb sugar cravings. However, it is vital to be careful not to eat a large number of fruits because fruits have a sugar known as fructose that the liver converts to fat (if in excess).
A good workout can help your body burn fat and increase its metabolism rate, subsequently increasing your body’s ability to process foods. High-intensity training entails short intervals of intense workouts. A high-intensity training session of about 20 minutes a day is enough to pump up your heart rate and improve oxygen flow in the brain, especially in the cortex. Additionally, working out helps you curtail lousy eating habits, as you will not want to undermine the progress of the hard work at the gym.
Thwarting a food craving could be as easy or hard as your mind perceives it to be. Research shows that it is possible to train your mind and body to beat cravings. You can use a few tricks such as brushing your teeth immediately after dinner to avoid consuming additional foods (except maybe a glass of water). Ideally, practice makes perfect. Within no time, your mind and body will dance to the same tune and help curb the cravings at night.
High Protein Intake
Proteins are quite filling and achieve this effect for a long time. As such, you should ensure that your dinner has a significant quantity of protein and whole grains to attain the filling effect. It is unlikely that you will think about snacking when you feel full.
Quench Your Thirst
Nutritionists warn that you should be wary of cravings at night because sometimes, thirst can manifest itself as hunger. If you wake up with ‘hunger pangs’ albeit having a decent dinner before bed, then you might want to take a glass of water to quench the looming thirst. Water has zero calories; hence, nighttime hydration will not be detrimental to the number on the scale.
Active Night Routine
After a tedious day at work or school, most people settle down in front of the TV and binge watch their favorite shows for hours on end. As you watch, you will most likely open a bag of potato chips and gobble it down along with soda. Interestingly, experts found that watching sad movies contributes to binge eating. Experts advise that you should instead opt for an active night routine that will help you avoid binge-eating snacks. Preferably, you might want to read a book or practice yoga poses to avoid thinking about food.
Regular Sleep Pattern
Good sleep is an integral aspect in attaining good health. A peaceful night’s sleep balances hormones and prevents fluctuations that lead to cravings. Try to incorporate a regular sleep pattern with at least 6 hours of sleep every day to create a healthy routine for your body.
If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Consequently, failing to plan your meals can prompt you to eat anything that appears in your sight. To prevent haphazard eating, you might want to prepare your food over the weekend, come up with a weekly timetable for meals, or even prepare food and store it in the fridge. This way, you will organize the meals that you should eat every day, leaving no room for unhealthy food choices.
Solve Underlying Issues
Your food craving could be tied to an underlying emotional or mental complication such as depression, anorexia, or stress. In this case, you should seek to solve the underlying problem, as this will help you assuage the cravings. Identify the triggers for your particular issue and learn to avoid them.
Healthy living does not necessarily mean having food you do not enjoy. You can curb your daily night cravings by utilizing the temptation bundling technique where you reward yourself after accomplishing a task. You can indulge in an ice-cream treat once a week to prevent the tendency of eating at night the entire week. Not only will you have something to look forward to, but you will also beat the cravings every day.
In conclusion, you can combine the strategies discussed in the article to help you beat your nighttime craving. Within no time, the strategies will help you reap the benefits of your efforts.