I will confess to you, I was THE BEST night time “snacker” on the planet! After I had the kids I developed this habit and it stuck with me for years! Until one day I decided to test some theories. And what I realized was eye opening. Here are your tips and reasons for quitting that late-night snack habit.
1. Ask Yourself Why?
When I asked myself why I was grabbing for that cup of cereal or that bag of chips and salsa I had to dig deep. First, I realized that I wasn’t even hungry! I had to come to terms with the fact that I was snacking simply because I wanted to eat in peace….and I could only do that after the kids were in bed. It sounds silly, but that was my truth. When you are a stay at home mom to young children every single meal you eat is with your kids. I never EVER had an opportunity to just sit and enjoy my food. AND I LOVE to ENJOY my food. FOOD IS ENJOYMENT! Ask yourself WHY? Is it stress? Do you also want to eat in peace? Are you bored? Or are you hungry?
2. Realize that when you snack before bed, you disrupt your sleep patterns.
When you eat before bed you are giving yourself a blood sugar spike and what comes up must come down! When your blood sugar has a sharp drop later chances are you will be asleep. However, that drop will surely wake you up AND it will make it harder for you to fall back asleep. Keep your snacks at least 90 minutes before sleep time, even longer (2-3 hours) for optimal rest. To read more about this check out this article.
3. Replace the Habit
If you find that hunger isn’t the reason perhaps a new habit is all you need. Try replacing the snack habit with something else more beneficial! Here are a few examples:
Replace the snack with a cup of calming night time tea like chamomile.
Start writing in a journal. If you are eating out of stress the journal will help deal with the stress AND quit the snack habit…. two birds, one stone.
Take up prayer and/or meditation – same as above!
Sit down and stretch! If you are eating because you are bored give yourself something relaxing to do. Stretching will not only help you sleep better but it gives you something to do too.
Just go to bed! Truth is, maybe you are tired. We tend to crave those sugary carb laden treats when we are tired….so maybe and extra hour of sleep will do you some good!
Read a book, doodle, spend an extra 10 minutes snuggling your kids, pet your dog, call a friend…. the list goes on! The point is to find something that works for you.
Here is what I’ve noticed since the late-night snacking has stopped.
Overall, I feel better. Plus I realized I wasn’t even hungry. But here are the specifics:
I no longer wake up bloated in the morning, in fact a lot of my bloating issues have ceased.
I fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and sleep longer than I have in a while….this doesn’t count, of course, the late night visits I get from the kiddos.
I am better equipped to handle stress throughout my day. This could be because I am sleeping better, this could be because I’ve replaced the habit with some of the items above, or this could be that I am no longer disrupting my hormones with that late night meal.
My exercise recovery seems to be so much better.
Have I lost weight? Maybe. Truth be told, I don’t get on the scale all that often. It’s possible I lost a few pounds, but mostly I just feel more comfortable in my body probably because of number 1.
I still have the occasional snack at night. However, now, when I do, it’s because I want to enjoy time with friends and I’m actually hungry 😉. It’s more of a conscious decision not a habit one.
As always, let me know if any of these tips help you! Have a balanced day!