If Late Night Snacking is Your Problem, This is Your Answer
Every night around 7 PM, I get a craving to eat a piece cheese.
Most nights I choose to eat the cheese.
This has been going on for at least a month and it so seemed innocent at first.
I justified my actions by telling myself that I was sorta hungry, it was just a piece of cheese, and it didn’t seem to affect my weight.
But now that I’ve repeated this nightly over the past month, it’s grown into a habit that I don’t like because it means I’m eating when I’m not hungry.
When you eat when you are not hungry, you are overeating (even if it’s just a piece of cheese!).
In addition to that, my brain is trying some other funny business with me.
It has started asking for snacks at other times when I’m not hungry, like in the afternoon when I typically get bored.
If I continue to indulge in overeating, I will start to gain weight.
That’s the simple truth of it.
Think of it this way: your brain is like a little kid.
If it can get away with something once, it will test you in other situations as well.
This is what my brain is doing with snacking and I don’t like where it’s going.
Here’s my plan to stop late night snacking…
- Create a Food Shutdown Ritual
- I typically eat at 11:30 AM and 4:30 PM. After my evening meal, I’ll say to myself, “I’m finished eating for the night”. I basically close my stomach for business. Any time my brain asks for food after 4:30 PM, I’ll remind it that I’m finished eating and therefore snacking is not an option.
- Redirect Your Brain with a New Evening Plan
- If you notice that you start craving snacks around 7 PM, thwart that pattern with a new plan. Try to engage in a new set of activities that will give your brain something to focus on besides food.
- So for me it might look like this:
- 6:30 PM – Drink a large glass of water
- 6:45 PM – Tell my boyfriend that he should under no circumstances give me cheese
- 6:50 PM – Drink another glass of water
- 7:05 PM – Thank myself for not eating cheese
- Recommit to Yourself
- Recommitting means reminding yourself why you’re not snacking in the first place. For me I want to have total control over my food and only eat when I’m hungry. Eating cheese at night does not align with this and it also makes my life less enjoyable because when I’m obsessing about eating cheese, I’m not fully engaging with my boyfriend or with what we’re doing. For sure, I want to want myself and my boyfriend more than cheddar.
Here’s a bonus tip:
Every time you get an urge to eat something, don’t reward it with food.
Every time you get an urge to eat and follow up with a reward, you are training your brain to eat whenever the desire comes up.
However, if you have an urge and don’t reward it with food, you are training your brain not to overdesire food.
Experience unrewarded urges 100 times and you will have re-trained your brain.
You can do this with any habit you’d like to change.
Pretty cool, right?
Drop me a comment below and let me know what you try (or have tried) to break a habit.