8 ways to conquer the munchies!

Nighttime eating can be a real challenge for dieters. We tend to eat healthfully throughout the day and then blow it at night by either going over our calorie count or just plain pigging-out. Here are some smart ideas that can help you.

Awareness first. Nighttime is often a vulnerable time of day. You may have had a crazy day or maybe it’s the first chance you have to focus on your personal life and you’re tempted to reach for some high-calorie comfort food.

It’s easy to blow a day of healthful eating with just 10 minutes of nighttime snacking. Knowing what to expect is helpful.

Keep low-fat, low-cal snacks on hand. Clearly, if you don’t have unhealthy snacks and trigger foods on hand, you are less likely to eat them. Stock up on fruits, vegetables and other healthy snacks like air-popped popcorn and low fat yogurt.

Late night tea. Brew yourself a pot of delicious, decaffeinated tea and make it your end of night ritual. Let nothing pass through your lips after the tea.

Get creative. Do you like to knit, crochet, and/or cut & paste? Keeping your hands busy is helpful. The trick is to set up your ‘craft’ ahead of time.

Plan your meals and plan your after dinner activity. If you don’t have the yarn and crochet hook right there, next to the sofa, you are likely to reach for food instead.

Get busy. Many people eat at night because they are bored. Take a dance class or join a book club. Make your nights fun and interesting. Get out of the house. Socialize.

Turn television commercials off. If seeing food is a trigger, switch the channel or turn the television off.

Stretch it out. If you are watching TV, stand up, sit down and shake it all about! Get on your stationary bike or the treadmill.

Play musical chairs. Sometimes the simple act of ‘moving,’ ‘moves’ a craving, ‘moves’ a mood. Moving changes your internal state. Move from one chair to another.