Do you ever find yourself sitting in front of the television binging on Netflix and your favorite processed carbs or sugary delight?! Are you starving an hour after you finished your healthy dinner and craving sugar or salt?!
We all experience these late night cravings, but there are steps you can take to balance your hormones, stop the cravings, and end the nighttime binges.
- Eat breakfast: This is the key strategy to stop the nighttime cravings. Of course, if you are binging at night, you probably won’t want to eat breakfast, because when you wake up, you’re still full. Raise your hand if you’ve been there?? Me too! So, you have to break that cycle and start with a good protein breakfast, such as eggs or a green smoothie. Remember to add veggies and healthy fats to the mix. If you can’t do without the bread have your eggs with a piece of Ezekiel sprouted grain toast (plain, sesame or cinnamon raisin), high in protein and fiber. If you have a balanced breakfast, it’ll keep your blood sugar even all morning and all day.
- Don’t drink your calories: If you have sugary, liquid calories in the form of sodas, juices, lattes, sports drinks, or iced teas, it will spike your insulin and blood sugar and will cause cravings.
- Eat regularly: I tell my clients to eat every four hours to keep their blood sugar even. Have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you want a snack in between, that’s fine, but make sure you eat at regular times to keep your body clock in balance. This also helps to avoid that “hangry” feeling which everyone around you will appreciate 😉
- Have protein and good-quality fat at every meal: Good fats are nuts and seeds, avocados, coconut, olive oil, or quality protein like chicken, fish, or grass-fed meat. Some combination of these (plus lots of vegetables) balances your blood sugar.
- Reduce Stress: Stress makes you fat (and overeat); relaxing makes you thin. Breathing, yoga, and exercise are some great ways to reduce stress. Also confiding in a friend can help you navigate through a difficult time and not stuff your feelings down with food.
- Catch your ZZZ’s: If you don’t sleep, you will be hungry, especially for carbs and sugar because when you deprive yourself of sleep, ghrelin, the hormone that drives hunger goes up and PYY, the hormone that makes you feel full, goes down.
- Herbal Tea: Tea is a great way to end your night. Chamomile, Sleep Time and Nighty Night are all great varieties to relax you and make you feel sleepy.
- If you must: opt for something that will tide you over while offering some nutritional value, such as plain yogurt with a piece of fruit, a handful of veggies or a handful (10) of almonds.