Diet Self HelpDietDietSHDietSelfHelp

Night Time Cravings

Nigh time cravings
Night time © Bruno Passigatti
How to Avoid Night Time Cravings

By Anna Lynn Sibal

Of all the three main meals that we are supposed to consume every day, dinner should be the lightest. This is because dinner is eaten at night, the time of the day when the body needs the energy from calories the least and is already preparing for sleep. Eating too much at night can result in indigestion, not to mention mess up the body’s metabolism.

Many people, however, could not resist stuffing themselves at night. This is probably a part of their unwinding routine, as most of them probably skipped breakfast and merely had a peck of food for lunch in order to cope with their stressful workload. They get so hungry at the end of the day so that what they missed out during the day, they make up for at night.

Of course this is a bad habit to take up. It is not healthy to eat so much food at night, especially when one was forced to steer clear of food all day. Here is how to avoid excessive eating at night.

1. Do not skip meals during daytime. Eating too much at night is caused by skipping meals. You may be in a rush, but make sure that you eat a filling and nutritious meal at breakfast and lunch. There are plenty of recipes that you can whip up in no time at all and bring with you if you really are in a hurry; a sandwich is a perfect example. In the afternoon, a couple of hours after lunch, if you are feeling a bit peckish, go ahead and eat a light snack.

2. Try eating five small meals instead of three square meals in the course of the day. This will make your stomach feel fuller without making you sluggish. This will also give your metabolism a jumpstart.

3. Make your dinner satisfying and rich in nutrients. Avoid carbohydrates if you can because you may feel hungry again much later after dinner. Instead, eat a dinner that has high fiber content, combined with lean proteins.

4. If you have nothing else to do at night except watch TV, try not to go munching on snacks, especially junk food, while enjoying your primetime or late night viewing. Keep your hands busy by doing some knitting or crocheting while watching the boob tube. Better yet, get on your stationary bike or do some light workout.

5. If there is nothing good on TV and you are getting bored, do not take your boredom out on food. Distract yourself by doing other things like surfing the Internet, reading a book or a magazine or doing some scrapbooking. Evening classes on whatever interests you are good too if you have a lot of free time at night.

6. If you really feel hungry and cannot be distracted from the thought of food, then go ahead and munch on a fruit or some yoghurt. Stay away from salty or overly sweet junk food.

7. Curb your hunger by drinking caffeine-free tea. Hot tea stills the hunger pangs and can be really comforting. If you do not like hot tea, make yourself a smoothie. Just make sure it is not caffeinated because drinking caffeine at night will deprive you of sleep.