Taking control of night time eating.
This week we are taking a closer look at WHEN we are eating – particularly in the evening... We all look forward to that evening snack, don’t we? How else can we wind down from a long busy day than in front of the tube watching our favourite show while munching on our most favourite snack food? We earned it right!? The problem is that these late night calories can add up quickly and stunt weight loss/health efforts.
We seem to have it all wrong in North America when it comes to when we eat our calories – most of us eating our largest caloric meal at dinner time, when really this should be our smallest meal (doh!). Our calorie intake should match when we are most active throughout the day so maybe it’s time for us to bring back the saying:
Breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a pauper.
“But I’m not hungry at breakfast!” – We’ve heard that one A LOT. It’s not surprising that someone wouldn’t be hungry in the morning if they’re eating their largest meal and most of their calories in the evening.
So what can you do?
1) Are you hungry? If you find you are constantly reaching for that post-dinner snack, ask yourself “Am I really hungry? Or is this just a habit?” If you eat dinner early (i.e. 5 or 6 pm) then a night time snack might be warranted. If you are eating dinner later than that, then your mind might be playing tricks on you!
2) Stick to low sugar, low fat snacks in the evening like fruits, veggies, low fat yogurt, etc. Fatty foods take longer to digest which is not a good thing if you are going to bed soon after.
3) Boost your breakfast and lunch calories. Eating more at breakfast and lunch will help you feel fueled throughout the day, preventing overeating in the evening.
4) Cut back your dinner by 20%. You probably won’t even notice the difference! (this is called the “mindless margin”).
Here is your Do it! Post it! Challenge this week:
Do it! Track your evening eating habits over the next week and if you find you are over-doing it, try some of the tips above.
Post it! Let us know how you control the urge to eat in the evenings. What’s your favourite low cal evening snack?
- A & M, www.getrealgurlsnutrition.com