Top 5 Ways to Curb Late Night Cravings

Top 5 Ways to Curb Late Night Cravings

It seems inevitable that following dinner, you “feel” hungry before bed.  Following the late-evening dinner feeding, you still have “room” in your belly to add pretzels, ice cream, milk, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  While it may give you a little ease knowing you will not go to bed starving, there is misconception on when and how to eat throughout the day.  One common thought is how the consumption of protein prior to bed can increase your body’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, but somewhere along the line, the message got mixed.  It is true that particular amino acids can help the body fall asleep and stay asleep, but many individuals now consume a fourth meal just to sleep better, or so they think.

The fourth meal at night can really place a damper on any body weight management goals.  For one reason, feeding is necessary for life and growth, but it is also needed to refuel the body.  While it is not wise to starve oneself at night, it is important to understand that feeding a large fourth meal prior to bed only leads to fat storage in the abdominal area.  Secondly, fourth meal or the late night food craving can be a response to a habit which simply needs a quick fixing.  Listed in this article are five ways in which you can eliminate the late night food craving to help prevent fat storage and weight gain.

Top 5 Ways to Curb Late Night Cravings

  1. Hydration. Hydration status is one of the most important aspects in life.  For one, it is needed to sustain life.  Second, maintaining a proper hydration status can be a major factor in appetite, or when you feel hungry.  In a recent study, it was reported that individuals who felt thirsty reported lower levels of fullness when eating [1], suggesting dehydration can lead to overeating and increase hunger as the day progresses.
  2. Fiber. The consumption of fiber is considerably lacking in the American diet.  Coincidentally, Americans are getting larger and larger at the waist line.  Coincidence or cause-and-effect?  The consumption of fiber is important not only for keeping the colon healthy, but it is important for increasing the “fullness factor” during a meal.  In other words, consuming a diet high in fiber can help curb appetite.  Research has shown that consuming a diet high in fiber (at a meal) can significantly lower appetite and overall food intake [2].  To help curb your late night food cravings, consider eating fiber with every meal to add to the level of fullness with each meal.
  3. Protein. One great aspect about protein is that it takes a long time to break down in the body.  In fact, consuming a standard four ounce serving of protein can have a lasting effect for hours in the stomach and this will help curb even the largest appetites.  Consider eating a few more ounces of protein at dinner time to help increase the level of fullness and to prevent any late night cravings.
  4. Limit Snack Foods. One of the biggest concerns when snacking during cravings is seeing the snack food in front of your eyes.  When you come in contact with the labeling or packaging, your mind will immediately remember the old thoughts of euphoria and trick you into thinking you are hungry when you are not.  In order to best your mind, eliminate any sugary junk and snack foods from your pantry or refrigerator and limit your late night snacks to a piece of fruit.  Those late night food cravings suddenly will not be as appealing when you are eating a banana rather than sweets.
  5. Get Adequate Sleep. This seems counterintuitive, but sleeping better each night will help curb your appetite throughout the day, which will in turn help you sleep better at night.  Aim to sleep at least seven to nine hours every night and eliminate all ambient light from your room.  Also, in order to eliminate some of the strongest late night food cravings, consider making a bed time every night and stick to it.  Having a bed time routine may prevent spending extra time eating sweets and help get you in the mindset of bed, rest, and your health.





About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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