7 tips to stop midnight cravings and get closer to your weight loss dreams!
Picture this: it’s midnight time, and you are silently heading to your kitchen and you immediately pull out a packet of chips and binge on it guilt-free! However, the feeling of guilt starts creeping in as soon you are done binging. You start feeling bad about feeding yourself tasty yet unhealthy snacks every single night. If that’s you, then understand you are alone. We all have been there and done that umpteen times already. But this bad habit is doing you more harm than you can think. Midnight cravings can disrupt your sleep and derail your healthy eating goals. To conquer them, it’s crucial to understand the underlying causes and know how to avoid midnight cravings.
What are the side effects of snacking at night
It is not always bad to snack at night, as everyone occasionally does it. But taking in more than one’s requirement regularly at night can lead to:
• Weight gain: Eating too many calories too often can lead to weight gain that can hamper in maintaining a healthy body weight.
• Impact work-performance and mental health: Overeating at night could cause symptoms like headaches, diarrhoea, and stomach ache the next day. Eating ultra-processed snacks at night can make one feel guilt, depressed or ashamed, impacting one’s ability to function normally.
• Increased risk of chronic diseases: Eating at night leads to various health issues including obesity and heart diseases.
Recognise the root cause of midnight cravings. Get to know why they happen. Are they due to overly controlled daytime food intake, habit, boredom, or is a sign of eating disorders. Addressing the cause is the first step to control cravings. Let us find out more tips to resolve this concern.
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How to curb midnight cravings?
Here are some tips from our expert to help you overcome food cravings at night.
1.Add protein to your diet
“Incorporate healthy protein sources like lean poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, peas, lentils, beans, and yogurt in your dinner. Protein provides sustained energy and keeps you feeling full for longer,” says the expert.
2. Include fiber-rich foods
The expert suggests, “You diet should have more of fiber-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, and high-fiber, low-sugar cereals. Fiber takes time to digest and helps control hunger without compromising your nutrition”.
3. Cut down on sugar and simple carbs
Avoid high-sugar foods and simple carbohydrates, as they can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, triggering cravings.
4. Avoid late-night triggers
Steer clear of high-sugar snacks and caffeine before bedtime. These can disrupt your sleep and provoke midnight cravings.
5. Stay hydrated
Ensure you drink enough water during the day, and consider having a glass of water before bed. Adequate hydration can curb hunger pangs.
6. Stress management
“Practice stress reduction through techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, hot baths, yoga, gentle exercise, and stretching. Managing stress can help prevent emotional eating at night,” suggests the expert.
7. Consider a personalised approach
Individualised solutions: Keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with these strategies to find the ones that best suit your needs and preferences.
Be patient and consistent: Overcoming midnight cravings takes time and consistency. Stay committed to your chosen strategies, and don’t get discouraged if it takes a while to see results.
Keep a food diary: It will help in detailing about what you are eating and drinking daily. And keeping a track of the calories that you have consumed throughout the day and can help in identifying potential problematic patterns like skipping meals or going too long without eating.