Diet and Nutrition
6 Ways to Avoid Nighttime Snacking
By Steve Edwards
From the Million Dollar Body Club - Join Today and Workout to
One of the worst times
you can eat is at night. Yet our society forces this upon you with "late night
happy hour" abandon. How many nighttime activities can you think of that don't
include at least an offer for food and/or drink? However, this is the last
thing your body needs before it shuts down for eight hours of sleep. Here are
some tips to make it easier to adhere to the "three-hours-before-bedtime" rule.
- Make a ritual. The easiest
way to not eat (or drink) is to get yourself into a pattern that doesn't
include eating or drinking. No matter what you decide to try, continue long
enough so that it becomes habit. Then eating and drinking will feel like the
wrong thing to be doing, instead of the norm.
- Stretch out. Stretching at night is
beneficial in many ways. Stretching out those muscles that you've used all day
long helps you both recover and sleep better. It will also help you not eat,
since eating is usually the last thing you feel like doing while
- Work. If you've eaten at
night, why not use up those calories and get some work done before hitting the
hay? You can challenge yourself in this way by adding an amount of time that
you'll work for each drink or hors d'oeuvre that you give in to.
- Work out. This one
requires that you learn about yourself because some people can't sleep if they
work out at night. I'm not like that, so I'll often replace a night out with a
night in the gym. Or, if I've eaten too much, I'll use a light workout to help
digest some of those calories before winding down for the evening.
- Read. Better than TV in so
many ways, reading not only engages your brain (which burns calories) but it
makes it hard for you to snack. Getting into a book makes time fly and before
you know it, that "late" dinner will have happened hours ago.
- Learn to love herbal tea. Its zero
calories are the perfect nighttime snack, especially "sleepy" teas, like
chamomile. It usually takes a little effort to trick your brain to truly enjoy
tea. But once you do, the positive effects of warmed herbs that will ease you
into sleep mode can be addicting themselves and turn going to bed into a
meditative and scrumptious affair.
And, finally, a note on
your TV. Let's be honest, most of us watch a lot of TV. The average American
watches over three hours per day. And, while it's often the case, your
television doesn't have to derail your fitness goals. You can use this time to
do otherbeneficialstuff, too. Stretching and TV go together like
peanut butter and chocolate, with the opposite effect. And, since none of us
claim to enjoy commercials, making a point of doing something else during these
timeouts (dishes, cleaning, laundry, sit-ups, or anything active) can turn a
night in front of the boob tube into a productive and healthy evening.