Do you find that eating the right foods and exercising just falls into place for you during the day, but as soon as the clock strikes 9.30pm you are raiding the cupboards for your late night snacking “munchies” fix?
For most folks this time of the night is when you finally get the opportunity to put your feet up and relax – you are relieved to be able to just have some “time out” from the stresses at work, home, family and study. However enjoyable this time-out may be it can have it’s downfalls.
So how do you know when your late night snacking is becoming out of control?…
When you have got to the point where you can’t sit down and watch tv without having food, of any kind, to help you enjoy your favorite tv show? But don’t worry because if this sounds like you then you are not alone.
I can tell you now, though, that if you are battling with your efforts to get into shape that continual late night snacking will absolutely trash your chances of reaching your training goals.
So if you’re keen to beat this habit then read through the following steps to help you nip late night snacking in the bud!
1. If you include weight training in your health and fitness program then have a protein shake, rather than pulling out a bag of crisps. Believe me, once you have swallowed a glass full of good quality protein powder and skim milk you won’t feel like eating a thing. On top of this you will be helping your muscles repair while you are sleeping, which can help with increasing your lean muscle and improving your metabolism.
2. Eat more food during the day! Often when you late night snack you feel too sick in the morning to eat breakfast because you are still feeling full. Remember you should be aiming at around 5-6 smaller meals per day. By eating regularly throughout the day you won’t be so eager to tear the pantry doors off after everyone has gone to bed.
3. Is there something else you could be doing while watching tv. Make a list of things that need completing that you could be doing at the same time to take your mind off eating. I’ve been known to train while I am watching tv, and so do quite a few other people that I know, not just because we are short for time, but to help prevent late night snacking.
4. Do you really need to be watching tv? If you know that doing this is the only thing that is blocking your way of reaching your health and fitness goals why keep doing it every night. Find a hobby, take up an activity of some kind. Keep the tv watching to a minimum.
5. Don’t buy junk food. As you know chips, dips and confectionery don’t just “appear” magically in your food cupboard. The only reason you are snacking on junk is because you made the choice to purchase the junk food and put it in your pantry. If it’s not there you won’t eat it will you?
6. If you occasionally want a snack why not eat low calorie snacks instead. Even if the snacks state they are low fat – they may be loaded full of salt and sugar! So read your labels. And… just because it says “low fat” it doesn’t mean you can eat twice as much! OK?
7. Make the effort to break the cycle! It’s up to you to take action and the make the decision to do something about your late night snacking habits. Remember habits can be broken and replaced with new habits. And to create a healthy habit you just need to stick to, and repeat, your new plan until it becomes “routine’. Once you see the difference it makes to your health and fitness results, not only will this help motivate you to continue, but you’ll be kicking yourself that you hadn’t done this earlier.
Yours in fun, health and fitness
© Mandy Gibbons
Virtual Fitness Trainer
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