I would like to be one of the first to welcome you to this beautiful day in your life AND to offer you a fantabulous Mind Savvy? tip to serve you on your Health Journey. A tip that will help you address something that is often found lurking at night in your home?. (imagine here that you are hearing a track from a creepy movie)?THE NIGHTTIME MUNCHIES!! Eeek! Not your friend in weight management.
Many, many folks struggle with night-time munchies. They?ve had dinner, and often, they are not even actually hungry. ?So why are they eating?!?? Good question. My clinical experience, and research in behavior patterns, show that it boils down to two main things. Drum roll?
The first contributor to night-time snacking is that all-important and powerful word: HABIT. We do it tonight, because we?ve done it almost every night. It?s not so much a mindful choice, as it is a habit.
The second major contributor to this lifestyle habit is PERCEIVED REWARD. You?ve had a LONG day, you?ve worked hard, and you DESERVE some Oreos, dammit! I know it might sound over-dramatic written out like that, but it?s truly how it plays out for a lot of folks, myself included. The key to this is to notice the trigger (I?m tired and I deserve a reward for how hard I worked/parented/etc today), and then insert a different reward. ?Ooop, there I am reaching for the Oreos. I know I?m not going to feel good AFTER I do that. What will feel good now, and after, is _____.? Examples might be a bath, a chat on the phone with your best friend, or swapping quick shoulder massages with your partner. I can?t guess what might work for you, but I do know this works, if you stick with it. It?s a re-wiring of your reward system.
Now that we?ve covered philosophy, let?s talk TACTICS, and things to be mindful of, as you work to break this habit that is generally NOT your friend in managing your weight.
- Eat dinner at a reasonable time before bed (2-3 hours).
- Eat every 3-5 hours throughout the day, making choices that are low in empty carbs. This will keep your blood sugar steady and you are less likely to be digging into the Oreos and Doritos at night.
- Often, you?re not actually hungry, you just want something to ?do? while you chat with friends & family, watch TV, or listen to music. Replace the habitual ?bag of something? (chips, Cheetos, M&Ms, etc) with a beverage like herbal tea, or water with lemon and stevia (?healthy lemonade?). Or, have some knitting, crossword puzzle, or a Sudoku challenge in your hands.
- Do not bring containers of food to the couch as company for TV-watching! This is a recipe for disaster (pun intended). Put your snack on a small plate and just bring that with you. This inhibits ?mindless eating? and helps you manage how much you?re eating.
- What to put on that small plate? For crunch, try kale chips, nuts, or hummus & carrots. A celery with nut butter, or an apple with a few slices of cheese are also tasty, healthy snacks.
Remember, reaching your ideal weight and/or improving your health happens via baby steps?one smart choice at a time. You?re worth it!
The food you eat builds your body, every day, for better or for worse.? Make choices for health!
With love & evening peace,