Snacking at night, after dinner or during the night can be a consequence of an unbalanced diet throughout the day or emotional hunger.
This behavior can harm weight loss and contribute to it increasing, it all depends on the choices you make when going to the pantry.
Having a small supper before bed with healthy foods and adjusted amounts can be beneficial for you, while supper with foods that are high in calories, high in fat or sugar is a bad habit.
These 5 tips will help you reduce/eliminate your late-night snacking habits.
1. IDENTIFY THE TYPE OF HUNGRY
There are 2 types of hunger. Physiological hunger and emotional hunger.
To be able to implement this tip, it is essential to distinguish the type of hunger you are feeling. We feel physiological hunger when we haven't eaten for a while and feel a half-empty stomach, a rumbling belly or discomfort that increases over time.
Emotional hunger is when we eat with the aim of compensating or reducing the effect of some negative feeling. This hunger comes out of nowhere and creates a desire to eat a specific food, usually very high in calories and with little nutritional value. It is a hunger that cannot wait, in which you have to eat at that time, and generally disappears if the mind is occupied with another activity. It is also characterized by insatiable hunger, triggering feelings of guilt and frustration.
Often, to help identify what type of hunger we are feeling and how to resolve it, it is necessary to consult a qualified professional such as a nutritionist or a psychologist.
2. HAVE A ROUTINE
It is important to have routines to ensure that our body functions correctly and healthily. Have a stable schedule for main meals such as breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner.
Therefore, when hunger appears outside of the hours you usually eat, the reason will most likely be emotional hunger.
For example, if you ate a meal 1 hour ago and you still feel hungry, there could be two reasons: either the meal was "short" (nutritionally deficient meal) or you are trying to compensate for some emotional state. In the second case, a good approach is to try to wait until the next meal.
3 - MAKE A DIET PLAN
A meal plan consists of planning our diet for each meal, taking into account various factors such as our daily energy needs, balanced nutrient consumption , healthy eating, etc.
Building a plan in advance has numerous advantages: you will be able to better decide which foods you should eat; you will plan your shopping according to the plan instead of adapting each meal to what you already have at home; you can prepare some of these meals in advance; helps you ensure the routine mentioned in the previous point; among others.
And some of these advantages are much more important than it might seem at first. Mainly because if you cook influenced by hunger, without a prior plan, you will make small mistakes or "sins" that will lead you to snack at night because you are not nutritionally balanced.
Note that "planning" does not mean that there cannot be adjustments. Replanning your meals is a good approach and is part of your adaptation and/or evolution.
4. DRINK WATER
The importance currently given to water intake has been increasing, however it is always important to reinforce two points: Hydration and satiety.
Being hydrated is essential for the body to function properly and to ensure basic physiological needs .
On the other hand, satiety is also a good reason to drink water regularly. When hunger is not physiological, drinking a glass of water can help satisfy you.
5. AVOID BUYING FOODS WITH HIGH SUGAR OR FAT CONTENT
There is a German saying that goes “Out of sight, out of mind”.
If cakes, pastries or snacks appeal to you at night, avoid buying them when you go to the supermarket. If you don't have access to these products when you feel like eating at night, you will opt for other types of food that you have available and that are not so high in calories.
The timing of purchases is really very important in this process. Shop without hunger, favor healthy foods and pay more attention to labels than to brand marketing.
It helps people achieve a healthy weight, feel good about their body and improve their self-esteem through nutritional re-education and the Mediterranean diet.