Even yours truly, The Clean Eating Coach, can get tempted into late night, not so clean snacking and feel the urge to eat right before bed. Sometimes it has do to with eating a light meal and eating early, so that by 9 pm I’m itching to eat something.
Perfect example: last night I was working on my taxes with my husband Bruce and the TV was playing in the background. We had an early dinner, about 6:15. Mind you, it was really healthy — turkey meatloaf, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and quinoa tabouli. I was priding myself on the fact that it was light and delicious, I ate just the right amount and I felt satisfied. Throw in the fact that we leisurely ate at the table, a friend stopped by and we all caught up on our days, and I just had to chalk it up to an enjoyable experience.
But when I fast forwarded several hours, I was seriously getting hungry. My first inclination was to get some of my favorite gluten-free snack: Mary’s Gone Crackers. We have a stash of the herb crackers and they’re perfect with hummus. Then I entertained the idea of some gluten-free bread with peanut butter or an apple.
But then I thought twice and reached for water instead.
Whenever I eat late at night, I never sleep as well. Sometimes I feel restless, sometimes I seem to have the oddest dreams and sometimes it feels like I wake up feeling tired. The truth of the matter is that our bodies do best when we go to bed having had time to digest our food. Eating late means they’re often working over time as we sleep to digest things instead of simply resting.
Water is great because it can fill you up and nip hunger pangs in the bud. And no, I don’t mean I drank a gallon, just a 10 ounce glass. Even better, drinking the water didn’t disturb my sleep, I didn’t drink so much that I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and I felt great when I woke up this morning.
The trick for me is to pause before I act. Instead of just mindlessly grabbing and gobbling up a snack, I took the time to think through what was most important for me.
What do you do to stave off late night hunger? Have you ever tried drinking water as a simple solution to nip snacking in the bud?