Five tips to STOP night time snacking.

20121013 062336 300x265 Five tips to STOP night time snacking.

this top is a SNACK-FREE zone!

Ive already shared with you the four reasons night snacking works for me.

While I think we all agreed the number is most likely higher than sixteen percent (the number of us who nibble as we watch Modern Family)—more than a few of you expressed a desire to leave your couch-snacking days behind.

Even though I can currently be found with foodstuffs as I work or TV, having worked for years as a trainer I also have a few tips up my lack-of-sleeves when it comes to snack cessation.

I give you the five tips which worked best for my clients and, as an added bonus if you make it to the end of the post, a SIXTH tip which I would use starting TODAY if I decided night time snacks no longer worked for me.

 

  • Be me.  As much as I say I love my night time couch snacks—I dont love to snack during football games (go steelers).  For some reason when I eat during football it becomes completely and utterly MINDLESS.  I think it’s because Im not savoring (the stuff on tv) and the result is I tune out and dont notice/taste what Im consuming.  During games I stay active. I do touch down dances for both teams.  I get moving during commercials.  Wanna stop night snacking? Be me during football games ALL THE TIME.

 

  • Write.  Whether youre  a blogger (sitting in front of the television or night in general is a great time to brainstorm for post ideas) or not (nightly gratitude journaling/lists rock!) seize the time you’d normally zone out and SNACK to be productive.  I know Ive found I sleep better as a result because all lingering thoughts from my day are emptied from my head and on to paper.

 

  • Change your routine.  Back in the day I was a fan of Dr. Phil.  I once saw him chatting with a woman who wanted to lose weight.  She lamented the fact she had candy bars in her desk.  She blamed her daily downfall on that.  In his inimitable way Dr. P (essentially) told her it was her LIFE which was making it easier for her to stay overweight.  Whether he was correct or not—it was her ROUTINE & HABITS which werent working for her.  Routine change is the swiftest way to habit change.  LOVE to snack during sitcoms? Perhaps decide NOT to sit on the couch while you watch.  Consider watching them on weekend afternoons when youre less likely to snack.  Examine your routines and see how they’re ‘not working for you.’  (<—- I miss the SANE Dr. Phil.)

 

  • Be certain you’re not hungry.  Sometimes we really do feel called to night snack simply because we arent ingesting enough calories during the day.  If you think this is the case—and youre not snacking out of habit or boredom—try keeping a food journal for a few days.  At the end of each day make a note of what you snacked on at night and what your hunger-level was.  Many times calorie restriction or just being *busy* can lead us into night snacking.

 

  • Brush your teeth after dinner.  awkward silence.  and **crickets**  and some more silence then a crapload bunch of crickets.  This would never ever ever work for me.  Id happily eat those first few post-paste bites and stick with it till the toothpaste taste dissipated.  I have a number of friends who swear by this.

There you have it.

The most misfit post ever: Five tips to stop night time snacking from a woman who night time snacks.

And so I hand the reigns over to you.

Whats your best tip to CEASE the NIGHT SNACKS if youve found it doesnt work for you?

Oh, and my best & number six tip?  OIL PULLING.  Good for you, lasts 20 minutes, and there’s no way I’d wanna snack after that.

Now you….

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Comments

  1. Tina says

    I struggle with this a lot, Carla.
    I wonder if sometimes I am hungry becaue I have tried not to eat all day?

  2. says

    If I’m truly feeling snacky, I allow myself to have some fruit. It’s sweet (I have a sweet tooth!), filling and usually hits the spot.

    Otherwise, I distract myself with grading my endless pile of papers that I brought home from work. So I get lost in grading Calculus homework and knock out some work that was probably stressing me out anyways. It’s a win-win! :)

  3. says

    I just died laughing at your oil pulling video! I love coconut oil so much, but for some reason that really grossed me out! hahah! I am a night time snacker for sure! Last night, I was feeling slightly hungry at 8 and I almost just went to bed… but alas I had a snack that I probably didn’t need. Sometimes I think that if I’m just going to stay up and watch TV and eat, I’d be better off just going to bed! Even if it is 8pm :-)

  4. Wanda says

    I always roll my eyes at the tooth brushing tip too.
    I could eat a package of oreos after brushing my teeth.

  5. says

    Great tips! I am incredibly guilty of snacking at night – sometimes. Especially during peak stress times. Ugh!

  6. says

    Whatever you do, just keep till the morning
    Haven’t you had enough to eat now, Jack?
    Midnight snack.
    Remember your supper was real healthy stuff.
    Haven’t you had enough?
    And I think you can make it,
    Seven more hours, if you try.
    Don’t do it like all the old times.

    For all the times you woke up real hungry,
    Eating right now would take your diet outta whack.
    Midnight snack.
    Shouldn’t you put that hunger in cold storage?
    Wake up and have some porridge.
    And I think you can make it.
    It’s not that hard,
    if you try.
    The recipe’s on the back.
    Midnight snack.

    I think I can make it.
    I think I can make it.
    Wouldn’t I like to eat healthy like I oughta?
    Oops… I added too much water.
    Looks like I can’t make it.
    One more time, if I try
    One more time for all of the old oatmeal.

  7. says

    The oil pulling sounds like a great way to keep from snacking. I need to start doing that around 3:00 p.m. when I want to snack….never have been a night time snacker.

  8. says

    I also miss sane Dr. Phil! I love your tips. When you talked about the woman who was on his show lamenting that “The candy bards in my desk are making me fat” – I could hear him saying “No, the fact that your eating them is making you fat”.

  9. says

    The tooth-brushing thing doesn’t work for me either.

    What does seem to work for me is ridiculously simple: I close the kitchen doors. It keeps me more mindful of what I’m doing.

    • Izzy says

      Great no-brainer tip, Cammy!!!

      This is the post I needed becase as Dr.Phil would say what I am doing is not working for me :/

  10. says

    I say go to bed early, go for a walk, take a shower, have some tea, unwind with a book. All that make you relax but without food. Although, i brush my teeth after dinner, i still snack, cause i want to. tee hee

  11. says

    There was a time when I was such an avid fan of Dr. Phil, Thing 1 asked the bakery to put his likeness on my birthday cake.
    Nighttime snacking for me is habitual. Either I’m in the habit or I’m not. To shake the habit, I state my intentions before dinner. “there will be no snacks tonight”. Mentally I set that in stone.

  12. says

    I always drink a boatload of water right after dinner to keep that full feeling going just a bit longer. And if I do feel snacky, I drink another glass to make sure I’m not just thirsty. For me, nighttime snacking can get out of control real quick.

  13. says

    Writing AND changing my routine are the most effective ways for me to prevent late-night snacking. I generally snack because of boredom or I’m procrastinating. So, I write to be productive.

  14. says

    Funny – the toothbrush thing totally works for me. Or taking mints. Either of those kills the snacking for me.

    Sometimes I just have to go upstairs where there is no food.

  15. says

    I tried the whole not in the house can’t eat it but I am constantly baking so that didn’t work out. If I do want a snack it is typically a dessert so now if I get the craving for something I have to drink three glasses of water first. I find this to work because I get distracted before I can finish drinking the three glasses of water.

  16. says

    I am a night time snacker too. The brushing teeth hing works, I also try to drink water to make sure I’m not just thirsty, and going to bed early helps :)

  17. says

    i personally am a night snacker, but i firmly believe it’s fine, because it’s not extra calories…i eat less during the day and am just getting my required amount of calories. however, i know it is a problem for people who eat all the calories during the day and are adding extra at night. i think distraction is the best tip. leave a couple things on your to do list like folding laundry, etc that you can turn to when you want to snack.

  18. says

    Anything that has you eating mindlessly is not good! :)

    Great tips Carla!

    If not brush the teeth time, I do find a project that will keep me busy – a project AWAY from the kitchen. Even starting a search on the computer of something can take a long time for me so by the time I finish, I am over it OR it is time for the next mini meal!

    OR drink no calorie flavored water.

    I swear by brushing my teeth after my after dinner snack. I take a lot of time here due to past probs & all the work I am getting done so after 10 minutes plus of teeth cleaning, not gonna do it again – AND it wakes me up if I do it too close to sleep time! ;-)

  19. says

    TEA! I love Tea after dinner :)

    I used to snack while watching TV all the time (popcorn, cookies, crackers, whatever). Now, I can’t say I’m too much of a snacker (although I do love snacks)! What I do enjoy is watching a movie with a little something something to munch on from time to time.

    I like having my breakfast and coffee while reading blogs :)

  20. says

    I love the teeth brushing tip! I’ve been doing that or popping a piece of gum in my mouth to curb mindless snacking for years. I’ve also learned that sometimes I snack when I’m dehydrated. I always drink a glass or two of water or tea before I eat a snack. Nine times out of ten I’m no longer craving a snack and the liquid has filled me up!

  21. Mallory says

    I third the drink a glass of water first. If I am still feeling hungry I try to have something with protein and whatever it is, I portion before bringing to the couch. Knitting helps me a lot. I also found a couple of short walks around the block breaks up the sitting, gives me time to chat with my partner, and passes the time before bed.

    A few years ago I had a “kitchen is closed” at 9pm mantra. That worked when I went to bed at 10:30 everynight. Now, my bed time is not as consistent. So I’ve abandoned this trick. BUT, it fid work well!

  22. says

    we are night time snackers, just who we are and always been, we have figured out how to make it work for us :)
    love the idea of oil pulling at night on those nights where we might over do the snacking ;)
    xoxo

  23. says

    For me (once I figure out I’m actually hungry and not thirsty – I have real trouble with that) it’s actually enjoying my snacks, regardless of when. If I put what I need in a bowl and don’t just mindless chomp away at it while doing something else, I enjoy it and it’s enough. Otherwise I could graze away all evening… :) Often my “snack” is a light beer…yum.

  24. cheryl says

    after a couple of workouts and chasing other people’s children all day, making dinner, getting ready for the next day, I have no TIME nor ENERGY for TV, snacks, etc.

    I write in my journal, read a couple of chapters in a good book and I am OUT!

  25. says

    I keep a fridge of my thinner days on the fridge (while I was not fit & healthy) I was at a smaller size and that’s motivation for me to not open the fridge. Some other tips I have heard are to turn off the lights in the kitchen after dinner, i.e. it’s closed, I am not sure that’d work for me though. The last bit is if you don’t have it you won’t eat and if you are going to a friends to watch a show or game, bring a healthy snack option to share and then you can portion yourself from that.

  26. says

    My snacking is thankfully under control – I, like you, enjoy healthy and controlled snacking these days…But there was a time when it was mindless eating. I found that most often, I wasn’t hungry, but just needed/wanted my hands or mouth to be doing something (slight ADD maybe?). I found that chewing gum and/or hard candy worked for me…yes, the candy was high in sugar, but I found that a few pieces would last me most of a show! =)

  27. says

    Great tips! I was definitely a nighttime snacker/binger. What helped me was brushing my teeth, too. Also, I work out after work, so I get home around 6:30-7pm and eat dinner. So I’m usually pretty full from dinner and have no desire to snack. Another thing that helped me: I sometimes save extra calories for snacks/desserts at night when I know I’ll want them.

  28. says

    I swear taking my b vitamins staves off my hunger at night. Also this may be too palatably challenging for some, but I have found turmeric mixed with water actually helps the night time binges too!

  29. says

    Awesome tips! Staying active definitely helps me with not snacking at night but also staying busy does just as well.. I usually snack because I get bored. So I try not to be bored much. Also helps when I do stuff with friends. I just don’t really like being the only one eating.

  30. says

    Thank you so much for this post miz.

    I have been trying unsuccessfully to get my snacking under control for 2 weeks. This was the perfect post for me to read! I snack mindlessly all the time, sometimes I’m bored, sometimes I think im hungry, sometimes I simply dont know why. but i do. I need to buy some gum stat. I also need to change my routine :)

  31. says

    I wish I could provide a nice easy, actionable item, but what did it for me was getting my hormones in balance, not to mention truly healing some other issues (Lyme disease and more). It’s not like I have to white-knuckle it through the evening, or distract myself…I’m just not hungry.

    Now, about once or twice a month I find myself a little hungry after dinner and so I have a small snack (i.e., a 1/4 cup low-sugar granola with nuts and a little almond milk).

  32. says

    On more thing I want to say: paying attention to the way food affects me has also played a role. If I eat too much or have certain types of food late in the day (sugar/carbs) I don’t sleep well, and feel “hung over” the next day. I don’t like feeling that way so I choose to prevent it!

    Also? Making a point of relaxing when I am eating my meals helps me to assimilate the nutrients and thus I feel more satiated.

  33. says

    My most successful snack breaker is making a cup of tea, by the time I’ve made it and it has cooled enough to drink I’m usually over my desire for food if I’m not really hungry. If I am hungry still then I eat!

  34. says

    Gret tips. Brushing my teeth and putting my night time retainers in does work for me. I find that a cup of hot herbal tea after the dinner dishes are done helps me from night time snacking. It taste good, warms me up and fills that little nagging feeling like I want something.

  35. says

    When a women wear towels, it definitely is an appealing look. However wearing a steeler-terrible-towel, does not leave one with the same desire to tackle the towel wearer. So consider this, combine your mizfit-skort item (I’m a guy, excuse me if I don’t know what it is called) with the terrible towel; hmmm NFL licensing agreement potential?

  36. says

    Good tips. Not cliche or anything either. I know that if I don’t have it around I won’t be able to eat it. I keep snack foods out of the house for the most part for that reason.

  37. says

    I find the thing that helps me the most is to go to SLEEP when I am hungry at night. If I lie down for a few minutes, I end up feeling too tired to get up and make a snack. Maybe we aren’t really hungry, but our body is telling us that we need something (and it is sleep!)?

  38. says

    Awesome tips!! Those would be some of my top picks too! I always make sure I’m eating the right amount throughout the day. And I actually do let myself have a snack before bed, that way I can look forward to that without mindlessly snacking. And yep with football games, I can mindlessly eat, but I’d rather stay active during them, jump for joy with each touchdown;) Oh and making sure I get enough sleep! Otherwise I’m so much more ravenous.

  39. says

    I’m late in commenting, but what worked for me was extra protein/fat at dinner and then just closing the kitchen. Kitchen’s closed. I also remember reading a post from Roni about how great it feels to have a flat belly and be a little hungry in the morning, and that always kept me motivated (pre-pregnancy).

  40. says

    Changing up my TV watching habits and brushing my teeth soon after dinner are two things that work for me. After doing that a few times I’ve pretty much stopped snacking altogether at night. As for oil pulling – I’ve started cooking more with coconut oil, but I don’t think I’m ready to swish it around in my mouth! :)

  41. says

    Hummus is great! (eat with Ritz crackers) as for foods pasta is very fiinllg. If you want to stay full drink alot of water- you get full, curb cravings and save yourself calories.