Before I get started, I will tell you that late night snacking is not inherently bad. The time of day in which you eat is pretty much irrelevant and the main factor in whether or not you lose weight is tied directly to the number of total calories you're eating.
However, many of us find ourselves staring at our pantries a few hours after dinner scanning the shelves for that sweet or salty treat.
This snacking can lead to the one thing that might be sabotaging your progress; over eating. It's incredibly easy to consume 300-400 calories or more from late snacking and because most of the time we're eating junk type foods, it's all empty calories.
So your calorie deficit that you worked so hard for all week can be wiped out with a few handfuls of kettle chips or a bowl of chocolate ice cream.
These things are fine to eat in moderation, as is anything, but they can mean the difference between you losing the weight and you not.
Snacking is a highly emotional thing and is caused largely by triggers, whether you know them or not. Rarely are we physically hungry but rather want to reward ourselves for a hard day or we're in the habit of eating at certain late hours.
Here are a few things I've learned over the years:
- The habit of snacking on junk can be unlearned like any other habit.
- It's possible to reward yourself with things other than junk food and sugar.
- You likely have (deep) emotional ties to certain times, smells, feelings, and foods that make you feel like you have to eat them.
- We tend to make poor eating decisions when we're tired, stressed, anxious, or dealing with fear.
And some of the things you can do are:
- Get the junk out of your house.
- Eat enough throughout the day.
- Make sure you're eating enough protein with every meal, especially at night. Protein will leave you feeling fuller than carbs or fat and less likely to snack on crap.
- Don't eat while watching TV.
- Learn your triggers and avoid them.
- Track your calories to see what you're really eating.
- Practice fasting and include the time you normally snack as part of your fasting window.
Hopefully these tips and ideas help you with your late-night snacking and be sure to join our private Facebook group at FitDadNation.com/Community