Food is life, but it’s not a good sign to be craving for something salty and tummy-filling late at night. Not only does this hurt our digestion, it also results to significant weight gain due to our metabolism getting messed up. Below are simple changes you can start practicing as early as now to avoid feeling the pang of hunger during late hours:
1. Get more shut-eye
If you typically feel hungry at one in the morning, it means there’s something wrong with your circadian rhythm. There’s something wrong with it because you don’t get much sleep as you’re supposed to. Essentially, getting sufficient sleep at night makes you energized the following day and enables you to sleep early. The body’s hunger and satiety hormones depend on circadian rhythm in order to maintain their stability and proper functions. Thus, when adequate sleep is not reached, the body’s hunger and satiety hormones are also thrown off balance. This results to us feeling hungry late at night even though we’re really not.
2. Drink plenty of water
As long as you’re well hydrated, your cravings and bouts of hunger will be lessened. Drink at least 64 ounces of water to help you with controlling your cravings. When you’re having the urge to eat some late-night snack, have a cup of decaffeinated tea instead. This will keep you hydrated and substitute the unhealthy snack you have in mind.
3. Consume a high-protein breakfast
Some eggs and veggies in the morning will get you the nourishment you need throughout the day. Protein intake in the morning increases the leptin levels in the body. This can aid in the shedding of excess fat and make us feel satiated much longer. Also, eating earlier in the morning helps the body not to feel deprived at night, avoiding hunger pangs.
4. Slow it down when eating dinner
It helps to eat dinner at the table instead of sitting on the couch while glued on the television. This helps you focus on the meal, allowing you to savor your food. The longer you spend time for dinner, the more time your brain will have to identify that you’re already full.
5. Munch on a snack every 2-3 hours
Having a light yet healthy snack helps you feel full throughout the day. Not eating for several hours usually results to massive hunger that leads you to overeat. Not only is this bad for your digestion, it can also result to unwanted weight gain. On the other hand, eating light snacks every 2-3 hours helps you avoid feeling famished. Snacking can also help increase your energy and normalize your blood sugar. Given this, your cravings for sugary and other fattening foods will be trimmed down. Snacking on Greek yogurt, berries and veggies is the best way to go.
6. Know the difference between emotional hunger and actual hunger
Many times, we eat not because we’re really hungry, but because we’re either bored or feeling down. It is true that many unhealthy snacks become what we call comfort foods. They usually distract us from issues that we can’t deal with. So, it is important to know the difference between feeling physical hunger and feeling emotional issues, which causes you to devour anything your hands can get into.
7. Steer clear of the kitchen after dinner
The kitchen is where the temptation lies. So, it’s best to avoid it after dinner. Do your dishes, clean everything that needs cleaning, and turn off the kitchen lights. Close the door if there’s one. You can do it, it’s for your own good.