Can you stop late night snacking?
By Aris Akavan, ACE CPT, BS MIS
You might be one of those people that after 9 o’clock linger in the kitchen looking for something to eat. But are you really hungry? There are few different reasons why you are eating late at night: you might be bored, stressed or hungry. And there are reasons why you are reaching for the snack loaded with salt or sugar instead of something healthy.
You Are Bored
If you are eating because you are bored then you can easily change it by finding something else to do. There are all kinds of groups you can join from musical to exercise ones, from poetry to volunteering ones. Moreover, pay attention to what triggers the eating. Are you accustomed to eating in front of the TV? Then put a gum in your mouth, drink water instead or allow yourself to eat only from the fruit bowl which should be somewhere visible.
You Are Hungry
If you are eating because you are hungry then you are not eating enough calories during the day or are not eating the proper foods. According to the Institute of Medicine 45-65% of total calories should be from carbohydrate, 20-35% from fat and 10-35% from protein but many don’t eat the right balance causing hunger later during the day. Too much or little of each will make you gain. Examples of good carbohydrates are fruits, veggies, whole wheat pasta and rice; examples of good proteins are eggs, lean beef, chicken, fish and beans; examples of good fat are olive oil, avocado and nuts.
You Are Stressed
When under stress it is harder to make the time to eat healthy and exercise. In addition, stress brings on increased levels of cortisol and high level of it can create cravings for salty and sweet foods. Also you might be eating to fulfill emotional needs. When feeling stressed try to relax with a massage, breathing techniques, a warm bath, a great book or meditation and yoga.
Avoid Late Night Snacking
To figure out your daily consumption keep a daily log of your eating habits and what precedes and follows snacking so that you can look at patterns and figure out how to overcome them. As a bonus research by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research found that the single best indicator for dropping weight came down to keeping a food log. To avoid snacking eat five small meals daily, get plenty of rest, keep yourself busy with a hobby or exercise and don’t keep unhealthy food at home or work. Next time you are heading toward the kitchen, grab your food log instead.
About the Author
Aris Akavan, ACE certified Personal Trainer & Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach, is owner of Body Fitness by Aris. Her mission is to assist others in leading a healthier lifestyle by balancing exercise and proper eating habits to achieve the ultimate body & mind wellness. Aris leads by example as she practices what she preaches. She leads an alcohol free and smoke free lifestyle and has worked out while following proper nutrition practices for over 10 years. In the last few years she also started participating in 5k races, adventure runs and triathlons. You can visit Aris at any of her following:
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