Smutty Fitness: Late night cravings
I'm a grazer, I don't eat a lot at one meal, but I'm constantly eating little bits. An hour or two after a pretty healthy dinner, I'm hungry again. I know that eating before bedtime isn't great for you, and usually I'm on track calorie wise until then, but then it's all over and I end up eating ice cream or a big bowl of sugary cereal.
Since going to bed hungry isn't realistic for me, what's a good night time snack? Maybe not plain carrot sticks but something that isn't terrible for me?
There is nothing wrong with listening to your body and feeding it when it is hungry, even if it is before bed, but there are a few things that you need to do in your day to potentially stop this late night hunger. Step number one is you need to stop grazing and start eating full, balanced meals. Start your morning with a very healthy breakfast, which is always, for me, the largest and healthiest meal of my day. Right now I am doing smoothies with avocado, kale, hemp hearts, blueberries, bananas, Greek yoghurt and a plant based protein powder. I want you to start making 50% of what you eat for breakfast to be protein based (such as eggs, nut butter, protein powder) and then the remainder will be split between fruit and dairy (perhaps yoghurt and berries).
Have a healthy snack a few hours later and then you MUST eat a healthy lunch, very similar to breakfast, but swap the fruit for vegetables. Another snack is to follow and then have a smaller dinner. You are not giving your body what it needs in the day and that is why you are still hungry before bed. Quitting the grazing and starting to eat full and balanced meals, front-loading your day, may help you curb your cravings.
Step number two is if you are still hungry after dinner, do not opt for the ice cream or sugary cereals. Instead have some vegetables and humus or a piece of fruit or perhaps a little more dinner. I am going to be honest with you though, and to me it does not sound like you are hungry, it simply sounds like you are craving sugar, which has become a very bad habit of yours.
It takes three weeks to break a habit so for the next three weeks I want you to, when you are hungry, choose something healthy to eat rather than sugar. Try a quinoa salad (and if you do not feel like making one these can be bought at salad bars pretty much everywhere so keep some prepared in your kitchen) or a healthy bowl of vegetable soup (I am a fan of Amy’s organic soups) or even a small bowl of homemade popcorn with a bit of butter and some salt.
Once you have curbed the evening sugar cravings see if you can try to stop the late night eating all together and focus on filling up your day with healthy and balanced meals.