How to lose weight

Clever Ways to Curb The Nighttime Snacking Urge • Simple Nourished Living

“It’s your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude” ~Zig Ziglar

Dealing with Nighttime Snacking

Q: I had an email from Nurit who was looking for suggestions for how to cope with hunger that comes after dinner, usually for something sweet.

A: The desire to snack after dinner can run deep. If like me, you are used to having a sweet treat every night before bed since you were a kid, the habit can be hard to break.

Everyone is so different there’s no one perfect solution. You have to experiment to find what works best for you.

Through much trial and error I’ve discovered that I’m often satisfied with a tiny portion of something sweet such as:

  • 1 – 2 spoonfuls of ice cream
  • a small piece of dark chocolate
  • a small cookie or graham cracker

Another helpful strategy is to have a big mug of herb tea. This is very successful for me during the cooler months.

However, if eating a little just causes the floodgates to open and you find yourself eating way too much, another approach might be best. There’s nothing wroing with a little positive self restraint every now and then. 

You might want to try brushing your teeth right after dinner. This sends a cue to both your mouth and brain that you’re done eating for the day.

Then find a satisfying alternative to eating such as taking a stroll around the block, playing a game, engaging in an activity that occupies your hands such as knitting or painting your nails or taking a bath.

Do you have any winning strategies for overcoming nighttime cravings?

Reader Ideas & Suggestions to Alleviate Nighttime Snacking

Reader Suggestion#1

Yogurt with fruit and splenda frozen makes a zero pt. frozen yogurt. So many flavors. ~ Lauren

Reader Suggestion #2

I find distraction works the best for me. But if all else fails, I’ll eat a boiled egg with a big glass of water and tell myself to wait 20 minutes and that if I’m still hungry, I can have more . . . but I never am hungry after 20 minutes. I am also very proud of myself the next morning. That feeling is worth fighting for. ~Susan

Reader Suggestion #3

I most definitely have strategies for this!

  • Go to bed. Sweet cravings at night usually mean you’re tired. Your body is trying to re-fuel to keep going. So, really, try to listen to your body and go to bed. I know. Easier said than done. So…
  • Cinnamon. If you can’t go to bed, try a little cinnamon on your tongue and/or … your suggestion…
  • Hot tea or better yet…Chocolate Rooibos. I love the flavor of the Chocolate tea. It’s a tolerable replacement for a sweet snack. Rooibos is naturally caffeine free. Or you can get a low-caf tea. Check out the Chocolate Teas from Republic of Tea.  

Doing the above things will eventually make the cravings go away. I do think one should avoid small portions of sugar! It just keeps the addiction going. I tend to want a little more every night. Even if it’s cereal…it keeps it going. ~Constance

Reader Suggestion #4

Hi Martha, I allow myself to have a cookie or two after dinner with my tea. I make them myself so I know what’s in them and how many points they are. I can go all day not craving anything sweet because I know I’m having my cookies. I’m  a big proponent of delayed gratification. 

One thing I do though while watching TV at night is to use dental picks on my teeth. I have psoriatic arthritis which has affected the joints in some fingers. Basically, the disease has destroyed the cartilage so I have a few floppy first finger joints, making it virtually impossible to floss my teeth. The dental picks serve that purpose as well as keeping my hands occupied so I don’t eat. I also buff my nails and use a facial machine too, again occupying my hands. I have in the past done crunches or leg raises during commercials as well. If you have a good dinner with lots of protein, you tend not to get hungry and so no snack is needed.  

One thing I learned since I joined WW is to how to recognize true hunger. I eat when I am hungry, i.e. when my stomach is growling.  Hope some of these suggestions can help your readers. Regards, Nancy

 

Reader Suggestion #5

 

HELLO MARTHA, I HAD A NIGHT TIME SNACK PROBLEM FOR YEARS, WHICH KEPT ME IN A STATE OF YO YO DIETING. SO I CAME UP WITH A GOOD SOLUTION WHICH I HAVE BEEN ON FOR YEARS NOW. I HAVE A SMOOTHY PLASTIC TALL GLASS WITH A MIXING SPRING IN THE BOTTOM AND I LID, EVERY NIGHT AT ABOUT 8;00 PM WHEN THE EVIL SNACK THING STARTS I FILL THIS GLASS HALF FULL OF SKIM MILK,THEN THE REST WITH COLD WATER. I MIX IN A SEPARATE CUP OF 1/2 CUP HOT TAP WATER, THEN ADD 2 TABLESPOONS OF PURE COCOA, MIX IT WELL IN THE CUP ADD IN 3 TABLESPOONS STEVIA ADD TO THE SMOOTHIE CUP AND SHAKE WELL. THIS LASTS ME ALL NIGHT LONG. I SLEEP IN A COOL ROOM BECAUSE OF MY FIBRO. THE CHOCOLATE TASTE KEEPS ME AWAY FROM ALL THINGS BAD FOR ME LIKE COOKIES DESSERTS, CANDY BARS THAT MY HUSBAND EATS. THIS HAS SERVED ME WELL FOR YEARS. MAYBE THIS WILL GIVE SOMEONE AN IDEA FOR THEMSELVES TO TRY. BY THE WAY I AM 69 YRS. OLD NOW ,STILL HAVING TO WATCH MY WEIGHT,BECAUSE OF FIBRO, PMR, COPD, A BACK WITH 18 TITANIUM RODS HOLDING MY SPINE TOGETHER,SO CANNOT EXERCISE AT ALL, WASTING MUSCLES. PLUS I AM ON TERRIBLE STEROID PILLS, WHAT FUN. SO I CANNOT AFFORD TO PUT ON WEIGHT! HOPE THIS HELPS!
THANKS, ~ BETTY

 

Martha McKinnonMartha is the founder and main content writer for Simple-Nourished-Living.

A longtime lifetime WW at goal, she is committed to balancing her love of food and desire to stay slim while savoring life and helping others do the same.

She is the author of the Smart Start 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge.

A huge fan of the slow cooker and confessed cookbook addict, when she’s not experimenting in the kitchen, you’re likely to find Martha on her yoga mat.

More about Martha McKinnon

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