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Healthy midnight feasts

answered 12:39 PM EST, Thu April 04, 2013
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anonymous anonymous
I have a bad habit of snacking at night. I am overweight and I want to lose weight. When I try to cut out the snacks I just crave them all the time and eventually I get so tired of fighting my hunger for snacks I just give in and its almost like I eat even more because I am so worn down by fighting against the urge to snack all night. What can I do to tame these cravings? I do not think I can ever lose weight if I have to fight against cravings that are this strong every night. I have been snacking at night for decades so my habits are very ingrained.

Jill Edwards Says...

I have a bad habit of snacking at night. I am overweight and I want to lose weight. When I try to cut out the snacks I just crave them all the time and eventually I get so tired of fighting my hunger for snacks I just give in and its almost like I eat even more because I am so worn down by fighting against the urge to snack all night. What can I do to tame these cravings? I do not think I can ever lose weight if I have to fight against cravings that are this strong every night. I have been snacking at night for decades so my habits are very ingrained.

There are some things you can do. You can eat more protein, that is meat, eggs, fish and cheese for your evening meal. That will help you to be less hungry at snacking time. You can actually eat less carbohydrate or sugars, particularly in the evening, as when you eat carbohydrates or sugars, your body will pump in insulin and this will drop the sugar level and you will end up feeling that your sugar levels are going down and you will want more food. So in principle, you would wanting to keep your blood sugar levels more even, which you can do by eating protein foods and foods with a low glycaemic level. This would be the more complex carbohydrates like whole grain rice and some of the newer grains, like quinoa and so on. You could snack on fruit and yoghurt, which is sweet and not so sweet.

Because this is a long established habit, you may have to work first on the kind of food you eat as snacks, the healthier the snacks the better, so sardines or scrambled eggs on toast might be a good snack, because the sardines will satisfy the hunger for longer. Bananas might make good snacks and they have the added benefit of improving mood. Work first to get the overall eating to a place where you are eating more protein than carbohydrate. Focus on the protein content of the evening meal and then work out protein based snacks for the evening. This will help to reduce the bingy aspect of your midnight feasts.

Because it has gone on for so long, you may need to talk to a counsellor about any night fears you may have, or anything like a feeling of having been abandoned or neglected in the evening. These issues may underly your habit.

You may have a metabolic system that requires small meals regularly and it is not wrong to eat in the night, it is the same for all periods of the day, you need to eat the right overall amount of food spaced to suit you.

Basically my answer is not to fight the cravings, but to give your body healthier more protein based alternatives, which do not drive on to further cravings!

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Page last updated Apr 07, 2013

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