As you follow your weight loss plan, day after day, you will be faced with endless decisions about food. If you’re like most people, you might find that your resolve is strong in the morning, and gradually weakens by the end of the day. Before you know it, the chip bag is empty and the brownies are half gone.
What happened? Quite simply put, your willpower has limits, and it tends to run low at the end of the day. If you often find yourself raiding the kitchen late at night, try these tips to stop the late night binges.
Restrict your access. You probably aren’t going grocery shopping at midnight, when those cravings tend to strike. You’re going during the middle of the day when you can make more rational and healthy choices. Resist the urge to stock up on tempting foods like chips and cookies, and keep healthier options in stock instead.
Don’t go hungry. If you’re losing weight, you’re probably following a low-calorie diet. But don’t restrict your calories so low that you’re starving all of the time. You can’t expect to eat a slice of watermelon for dinner and not find yourself at the bottom of a bag of cheese puffs at 10 pm.
Avoid your triggers. A lot of the time, late-night snacking has more to do with your mood and emotions than with the time of day. If you can, avoid your triggers, or at least find a substitute for dealing with emotions. Instead of drowning your sorrows in a pint of rocky road ice cream, take a long bubble bath or a nighttime stroll around the block.
Develop a ritual to signal your brain that eating is over for the day. It might sound silly, but doing something like brushing and flossing your teeth after dinner can help your subconscious recognize that there will be no more eating until morning.
Go to bed. When your willpower is running low, you’re probably tired! Go to bed a bit early, rather than staying up late watching TV and risking a binge-fest. Bonus: You’ll be well rested and ready for a workout in the morning!