Defeating The Night-time Munchies

I have lost count of the number of people who tell me that they can eat well all day, being careful and measured in their food choices, but come 8pm, willpower and good intentions just melt away. Dinner is finished and with an evening of relaxing in front of the TV comes a desire to have “something fine”.

Even if your self-control is still in charge and you are not yet in automatic pilot heading for the treats or the wine, how easily are you persuaded to give into temptation and put off “being good until tomorrow”?

So, what can you do? Here are 10 tried and tested tips to keep you on track:

  1. Have a balanced dinner with plenty of protein, healthy fats and unrefined carbohydrates – and make sure you have eaten enough.
  2. Avoid having an alcoholic drink this is the quickest way to completely undermine your efforts to “be in charge”.
  3. Watch your portion size if you are going to have a snack then measure out a reasonable amount and eat it mindfully. It is all too easy to munch your way through the whole packet without even realising...
  4. Find something to occupy your hands whilst watching TV doing the ironing or a handicraft like knitting or crochet – its hard to find the time to stop and eat if your hands are not available to feed you.
  5. Make sure you are not staying up too late obviously do not try to go to sleep when you are hungry but if you are sleeping then you can’t be eating – and getting enough sleep can also help support your efforts to lose weight.
  6. Try something minty either chewing gum, brushing your teeth, hot peppermint tea or sucking a mint – the mint tells your brain that you have finished eating.
  7. Make yourself a non-alcoholic drink often when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty – having a drink can not only take the edge off your appetite but might be just what you really needed.
  8. Remove temptation don’t keep “naughty treats” in the house. If you actually have to go out to buy something you are much less likely to do this than if the cupboards are full of diet-sabotaging foods.
  9. Make sure there is something that you can eat a healthy alternative that will not only ensure that you do not feel deprived but will also satisfy your hunger.
  10. Press the “pause” button and don’t just automatically go and eat just because the thought occurred to you. Count to 10 and then think about all the reasons that you want to stay on track with your eating plan. Have an icon that you can focus on – and if you still need that snack then follow the tip above!

 Infographic: Defeating the night time munchies

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